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DR. J. B. ALEXANDER. 



THE HISTORY 



Of Mecklenburg County 



From 1740 to 1900. 



BY 

J. B. ALEXANDER, M. D., 

Charlotte, N. C. 





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CHARLOTTE, N. C: 




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1902. 








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JBRARY 

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TILDEN FOUI> -ATI0N8 

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COPYRIGHT 1902 
BY 

J. B. ALEXANDER, M. D. 



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Index to Illustrations. 

The Author Frontispiece 

Map of the County Page i 

Dr. D. T. Caldwell 70 

Margaret Alexander Lowrie 135 

Samuel J. Lowrie, Esq 136 

Capt. John Walker 137 

James Davis 139 

Dr. Isaac Wilson 149 

William Maxwell 152 

Dr. Samuel B. Watson 156 

Robert Davidson Alexa *er 159 

Adam Brevard Davidson 164 

W. F. Phifer 168 

Col. Zeb Morris 172 

Gen. W. H. Neal 175 

Brawley Oates 177 

Dr. David R. Dunlap 178 

Rev. W. W. Pharr, D. D 180 

Dr. W. A. Ardrey 182 

Lieut. Gen. D. H. Hill 186 

Dr. Robert Gibbon „ . 190 

Maj. Jennings B. Kerr 195 

Gen. Rufus Barringer 197 

Senator Z. B. Vance , 209 

Hon. James W. Osborne 231 

Rev. A. W. Miller, D. D 258 

Mecklenburg County Court House 376 



Index. 

Preface Page 3 

Early Settlement 9 

Early Recollections of Charlotte 12 

May 20, 1 775 25 

Martin's Historical Account of the Declara- _, 

tion of Independence 28 

Prominent Men who Took an Active Part . . 33 

The Celebration of May 20, 1775, in the Year 1825 42 

A Historical Fact Not Generally Known 47 

Troops Furnished for the War of 1812-14 52 

Members of General Assembly from 1777 to 1902, 

Inclusive, and Time of Service 58 

County Officers and Time of Service 61 

Rev. Alexander Craighead 66 

Dr. D. T. Caldwell .' 71 

Lives and Peculiarities of Some of the Signers. . 73 

Some of the Bar One Hundred Years Ago. ... 91 

President James Knox Polk 95 

William Davidson 97 

Gov. Nathaniel Alexander 98 

Maj. Green W. Caldwell 99 

The Opinion of the Ladies 100 

Matthew Wallace and George Wallace 101 

Adam Alexander 104 

Humphrey Hunter 107 

Hopewell Church and Graveyard 115 

The Part Mecklenburg Took in Mexican V/ar. . . 118 

Banks and Banking 119 

Some of the Prominent Citizens in the First Half 

of the Nineteenth Century 120 

The Champions of the County 123 

Blind Dick 124 

Negroes Before the War Between the States. ... 125 



INDEX. Ill 

State Laws Before the War in 1865. .......... .Page 129 

Biographical Sketches 131 

The Central Hotel 194 

The Charlotte Hotel 195 

Rufus Barringer, of Cabarrus and Mecklenburg. . 197 

The Great Commoner, Z. B. Vance 209 

Calvin Eli Grier 222 

Matthew Wallace and Family 225 

Capt. John Randolph Erwin 227 

Hon. James W. Osborne. . 231 

Rev. John Hunter . 234 

The Hunter Family 235 

The Descendants of Some of the Famous Men 

who Fought in the Revolutionary War 237 

Many Men Who Sustained a Splendid Reputation 
as Ministers of the Gospel in the Various Years 

of the Nineteenth Century 

Rev. John McCamie Wilson, D. D 252 

Rev. A. W. Miller, D. D 258 

Two Church Sessions Act as a Unit 261 

Methodists in the County , 264 

Roman Catholic Church 271 

The Associate Reformed Presbyterians 272 

The Lutheran Church 276 

The Baptist Denomination 277 

The Rock Springs Burying Ground 279 

Sugar Creek Church 281 

Steele Creek Church 286 

Providence Church 291 

Flowers Now and One Hundred Years Ago 295 

The Old Four-Horse Stage 297 

Lee Dunlap Kills James Gleason 299 

Mint Built in 1836 3° 2 

The Two Town Pumps 3°3 

Public Works in Charlotte Fifty Years Ago. . . . 304 

Changes in Mecklenburg in the Last Century .... 308 

Healthfulness of Mecklenburg 311 



IV . INDEX. 

Snow on the 15th of April, 1849. Page 313 

Aurora Borealis as Seen in October, 1865 314 

Stars Fell in the Fall of 1833 315 

The Passing of an Aerolite From West to East. . 316 

Earthquake Shocks in 1886 317 

Progress 320 

Gentlemen and Ladies Before the Civil War 323 

Patrol in Slavery Times 329 

Roster of Confederate Troops . . 333 

Reconstruction Times in Mecklenburg 361 

Last Chapter of Mecklenburg History 370 

Appendix , . . . 385 



THE NEW YORK I 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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PREFACE 

To those who do me the honor of reading the history as 
prepared, it is necessary that I should say I am indebted in 
greater or less degree, to Foot's Sketches of North Carolina, 
Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Martin's History, 
written between 1791 and 1809, but not published till a later 
date ; also I am indebted to manuscripts of Mrs. H. M. Irvin, 
deposited in the archives of the Mecklenburg Historical So- 
ciety; also largely to manuscripts of Lyman Draper, of 
Wisconsin. Prof. Draper spent much time and took great 
pains in looking up the early history of Mecklenburg, and 
left no stone unturned that might throw light on the char- 
acter of those early patriots, who risked everything to estab- 
lish independence. This was indeed a bold act, to sever all 
relations with the mother country, knowing that not to suc- 
ceed, meant death on the gallows. The Rubicon was 
crossed, and they could not go back. Patriots of the county 
held many meetings and debated the question earnestly be- 
fore the final meeting in Charlotte on the 19th and 20th of 
May, 1775- All the costs were counted, and each one knew 
what the consequences would be if they should fail. They 
were in desperate straits — either to live as slaves and sub- 
mit to all the indignities of a subjudicated province, or make 
a declaration of independence, maintain their freedom by 
force of arms, trusting in the God of right. This last re- 
solve was adopted, success was achieved, and Mecklenburg 
occupied the foremost place for patriotism in all this mighty 
continent. Strange that a history of so remarkable a coun- 
try should have been neglected so long, and only here and 
there a fugitive piece has been preserved; many things of 
note were enacted by patriots more than a century ago that 
are now faded from memory, that should have been pre- 
served bv those who lived at that time. It has been 



4 HISTORY OF 

characteristic of North Carolinians to make history, but not 
to write it. 

Tn writing the History of Mecklenburg County, I find 
it very difficult not to trespass on the confines of neighboring 
counties, and not to follow people who have gone out from 
our borders. The history of a State, or a county, is almost 
entirely the history of the people who constitute the inhabi- 
tants ; all that part of Mecklenburg county, or the greater 
portion of the county, was settled with the Scotch-Irish, 
but the part that was given to form Cabarrus, had many of 
German extraction. This eastern border was trimmed in 
1 79 1, and the southeastern section was lopped off to form 
Cabarrus county, was peopled with the Scotch-Irish, the same 
people that populated Mecklenburg. 

In the years 1830 to 1855, quite a large emigration of 
our people to all of the Western States was effected, that was 
to the detriment of our county, but tended to the advance- 
ment of all the interests of the States to which they migrated. 
From the latter period, but a small per cent, moved away — 
in comparison to the number that moved previously. From 
the location, being placed in the southern part of the Pied- 
mont section, filled with the best of immigrants from Ireland 
and Scotland, inheriting a love of freedom that had come 
to them through a long line of ancestors who bad suffered 
much, for their love of freedom to worship God according 
to the distates of their consciences, they were exceedingly 
fortunate in having Mr. Alexander Craighead, providen- 
tially sent to instruct them how to resist all kingly oppres- 
sion, both in ecclesiastical and civil affairs. Notwithstand- 
ing he ceased from his labors nine years before the great 
convention of May 20, 1775, the doctrines he advocated 
with so much earnestness from the pulpit, and in 'his pas- 
toral visits, found lodgment in good and honest hearts 
of all the people who sat at his feet and learned of 
him. Through the instruction given by this great man, 
though rejected by Maryland and Pennsylvania, and urged 
to leave these States, was gladly accepted by the people here, 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 5 

whereby the county of Mecklenburg became the cradle of 
liberty for the Western world. The seven churches he was 
instrumental in forming, contributed most of the men who 
signed the immortal Declaration of Independence. 

It is now the part of patriotism for the descendants of 
those who endorsed the work of that ever memorable 20th 
of May, as well as the descendants of the committee who 
signed the famous resolutions then adopted, to hold them 
up as patriots in deed, who took a decided stand for lib- 
erty more than a year before the colonies declared them- 
selves free and independent of Great Britain. 

This act is enough for any people to be proud of, and had 
it occurred in ancient times, the participants would have 
been knighted, if not deified. And it is with sincere regret 
that any citizen of Mecklenburg county should deny the 
truth of so well established a fact, by records of court, the 
statements of several o>f the signers themselves, and by men 
who were not participants but were present; two of whom 
were Maj. Gen. Joseph Graham and Rev. Dr. Humphrey 
Hunter, both of whom were present, but not signers, both 
being under age, but both in the patriot army. 

The love of country, which has always been a crowning 
virtue in the people of Mecklenburg, could be seen in the 
Revolutionary period, and in the war of 1 812- 14, when 
England claimed the "right of search;" in the war with 
Mexico, and last but by no means least, the war between the 
States, when our county sent to the front more than 2,700 
men. She is always first in a good cause, and last to let go. 
For the last forty years she has devoted 'her Whole attention 
to building up her shattered fortunes, and educating her 
children. For seven years after the close of the war be- 
tween the States, not a public school was taught in the 
county; our people needed schools, but we lived for a while 
under the iron 'heel of despotism. But, now we hear of ed- 
ucation on every side, and civilization is progressing with 
steam and electricity, so it is hard to keep up with the pro- 
cession. Our old civilization is fast disappearing, giving 



6 HISTORY OF 

way for the new. War is no longer a coveted art in the 
South, but its opposite is in the lead, and peace will soon 
have her victories that will far exceed those that formerly- 
belonged to the red flag of war. 

The middle of the last century brought in many changes 
in the workings of our civilization; our people till then 
nearlv all lived on their farms, raised their own supplies, 
save their sugar, coffee, salt, molasses, etc. All of our or- 
dinary clothing was spun and woven at home. Every com- 
munity had its own tanyard, and every farmer (of conse- 
quence) had their own shoemaker. In fact we were able to 
live within ourselves. The women knit all our hose; if 
flannel shirts were needed, they were made of home-made 
flannel. A great deal of attention was paid to the raising 
of sheep; fine wool was in demand for making fine flannel, 
and for making wool hats. Much attention was given to 
procure the best breed of hogs, cows, horses ; even attention 
was given to the best strain of poultry, chickens, turkeys, 
geese and ducks. We did not have such a variety to select 
from, but the poultry and hogs did not have cholera ; and I 
never heard of cows being affected with phthisis, or con- 
sumption. The last twenty-five years have added to the ills 
of humanity, as much as to the sufferings of the domestic 
animals. 

The affection known as "appendicitis," was unknown 
twenty-five years ago, even in the medical books, but has be- 
come quite common not only in Mecklenburg, but through- 
out the country. This is probably offset by smallpox be- 
coming mild, and is dreaded not so much as measles; 'hence 
it is but little talked about, although it has scarcely been ab- 
sent from Charlotte in the past six months. 

It is well for the children to know the history of Mecklen- 
burg, for no other territory of the same size in the United 
States has such a glorious record to hold before her people. 
Charlotte was properly named by Lord Cornwallis, "A Veri- 
table Hornets' Nest," and she will ever be jealous of her 
rigiits, in whatever way or form she may be attacked. Let 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 7 

her children learn her history, and it will be safe from those 
who would traduce her fame. There is no safer custodian 
to preserve her priceless treasure than the descendants of 
those heroes who won for us the Constitutional Liberty 
we enjoy to-day. 

J. B. A. 
Charlotte, N. £"., August, /902. 



THE HISTORY OF 

MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



Early Settlement. 

With what complacency we could look back upon the 
early years of our county, if a memorandum had been kept 
of the first inhabitants, what they did, how they educated 
their children, how far apart the neighbors lived, their first 
temples of worship, how services were conducted, did the 
aborigines join in the praise to God, the giver of life and 
every blessing, or did they sullenly look on as if they were 
infringing upon their inalienable rights, as if they were 
taking unwarranted liberties that no one had ever dared to 
do before. The settlement of the State began near the coast 
and gradually extended west. The eastern section of the 
State was populated a century before Mecklenburg was 
named, or steps were taken to lay off meets and bounds to 
form a county. In that early period there was no occasion 
for hurry, and everything moved slowly. 

But few people moved to this section of the State prior 
to 1740, that is between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. 
The boundary of Mecklenburg was marked off in 1762 — 
that is, the eastern, southern and western borders ; the north- 
ern or northwestern was not marked off, but was left open 
to see where it would be settled up, so as to draw the boun- 
dary line. In the next twenty years there was a great im- 
migration to this settlement from Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania, and a few from Ireland and Germany. And in 1762 
when the boundary lines were run, quite a population occu- 
pied the territory that was called Mecklenburg county, and 
its county seat was called Charlotte in honor of the reigning 
family. 

Not until 1742 did the tide of immigration turn toward 
this part of North Carolina, and even at this period it was 
light to what it was twenty years later. In 1750-56, many 



10 HISTORY OF 

people of more than ordinary standing, thought to improve 
their condition in many ways by seeking homes in the Pied- 
mont region that is now traversed by the great Southern 
Railway, between the Yadkin and Catawba. In this early 
period, about 1740, a man by the name of Thomas Spratt, 
said to be the first who ever crossed the Yadkin with wheels, 
settled near where Pineville is now located ; and his 
daughter, who married William Polk, the first white child 
born in what was afterwards called Mecklenburg, between 
the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. 

This must have been a lovely picture, when the whole 
country was covered with tall grass, the wild pea vines and 
the flora that was indiginous to the soil, disturbed only by 
the wild Indian and the great herds of buffalo and deer, and 
such wild animals and fowls as found a congenial home in 
so temperate a climate. At this period every branch, creek 
and river was alive with fis'h ; and as they sported in the clear 
waters in the balmy springtime, they seemed to join in with 
all nature to invite immigrants into this lovely country. 

In 1740, this part of the State was wholly unorganized, 
with only here and there an immigrant or settler. A school 
house or a 'house of worship was then not dreamed of. In 
1752, Rev. John Thompson, a preacher of the Presbyterian 
faith, held service under a wide-spreading oak near the 
house of Richard Barry, fourteen miles northwest of where 
Charlotte was ten years later laid off, and established as the 
county seat of Mecklenburg. This was on the Beattiesford 
road in the direction of the mountains. 

About this time several young men came into this neigh- 
borhood and located. The most prominent of whom was 
Samuel Wilson, from England. He was highly educated, 
a man of considerable wealth ; in fact 'he belonged to the 
upper class in England, and was visited by his kinsman. Sir 
Robert Wilson, of aristocratic lineage; but in those days it 
took so long to cross the ocean, the visit was never repeated. 

Samuel Wilson's first wife was Mary Winslow. a 
daughter of Mosts and Jean Osborne Winslow. His second 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. II 

wife was the widow Howard (we could not find out her 
maiden name). His third wife was Margaret Jack, a sister 
of James Jack. His first and third wives were of the best 
families in America, and I have reason to believe his second 
— from her posterity — was equal to 'his first and last. Maj. 
John Davidson married Violet, a daughter of the first wife. 
John and Mary Davidson, children of Robert Davidson and 
Isabella Ramsav Davidson, of Pennsvlvania, after their 
father's death, moved into North Carolina on the Yadkin 
near where the town of Salisbury now stands. Here the 
widow Davidson married Mr. Henry Henry, a graduate of 
Princeton, who was engaged in teaching in that section. 
Here John and Mary were educated, and John learned the 
blacksmith trade, and when he reached his majority he and 
his sister Mary moved from Rowan to Mecklenburg in 1760, 
just in time to secure an elegant home on the Catawba river, 
four miles west of where Hopewell church was built two 
years later. From this alliance of John Davidson and Vio- 
let Wilson sprang, a posterity of as good people, and proba- 
bly as numerous as can be found in the State. They were 
very intelligent, believers in education, were very industrious 
and were noted for accumulating property. They exer- 
cised quite a beneficent influence in their section of the 
county, and were friends to internal improvement. 



Ea.rly Recollections of Cha-i-lotte. 

My earliest recollections of Charlotte and the inhabitants 
of the town will scarcely go back to the fortieth mile-post 
of the Nineteenth century. I was born ten miles north of 
the town, one mile from where Alexandriana Postoffice was 
kept for one hundred years. But alas, alas, the time came 
when the people could no longer spell Alexandriana, and 
the old revolutionary postoffice had its name changed to 
Croft. It has but one redeeming trait — it is short and easy 
to spell, and that is considered of vast importance in this 
money-loving age. But it is lacking in euphoney, and more 
than that, the first original name of the postoffice had many 
interesting reminiscences clustering around its antiquity that 
were interesting to those who cared to preserve historic 
facts. But we live in an age that cares for none of these 
things. It is only here and there that we meet with those 
who love to look towards the setting sun and gather up his 
effulgent rays as he goes down and bids good night to the 
gorgeous day of a well-spent life, where these glories will- 
forever bloom and be appreciated by those spirits who dared 
to be free. I am aware that many persons have but little 
respect for what they are pleased to call a rehash of olden 
times, that are now considered antiquated fables. But in 
speaking of my earliest recollections of Charlotte and the 
people who lived in the town, I know you will excuse me 
if I also bring forward the names of some who lived in the 
county. In fact, when I first remember the town, it was a 
small affair, although it had been in existence eighty years. 
At this time I presume it numbered not more than 1,500 in- 
habitants, counting slaves and all. For the first fifty years 
of Charlotte's existence, not a denominational church was 
established in the town, but all denominations used one 
church in common. 

The Hon. William Davidson gave the lot for a cemetery 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 3 

and I presume he gave the lot where now stands the First 
Presbyterian church ; at any rate a house for any person to 
worship, without regard to what denomination should con- 
duct worship. What year this was begun, I cannot say ; but 
it was prior to 1818. The lot and church did not pass into 
the hands of the Presbyterians until the summer of 1832. 

While the congregation enjoyed the stated preaching of 
Mr. Morrison once in three weeks, an interesting revival oc- 
curred among the people in which he was assisted by Messrs. 
Furman and Barns, of the Baptist Church, and by Rev. Mr. 
Leven worth. On the fourth Sabbath of August, 1833, 
thirty-six persons connected themselves with the church, 
which was at that time organized, and David Parks and 
Nathan B. Carroll were appointed elders. Rev. Mr. Leven- 
worth was engaged in teaching a female school of a high 
order. The academy — a large brick structure — occupied 
the lot now owned by Mr. J. H. Carson. He was employed 
as stated supply, or pastor of the Presbyterian church. At 
this time no other denomination had a foothold in the town. 
About 1840 a Baptist church was built on Fourth street 
(which in a few years was sold to Alexander Springs and 
moved to Third street, nearly opposite the new court house), 
and a new brick church built On the corner of Brevard and 
Seventh streets. The prominent members when first started 
were Rev. Joe Pritchard, father of the late Rev. Dr. Pritchard 
(and I will mention the fact that he was a great believer in 
Millerism; he afterwards moved west). Rev. Dr. Pritch- 
ard, who recently died, served the church very acceptably 
for several years and was much esteemed by all classes. 

Dr. Steven Fox and his family, Dr. Torrence, Wm. Cook, 
Mr. Boon (who* kept a shoe store), Benjamin Smith, and 
Leonard Smith, with their families, were prominent mem- 
bers of the Baptist church about 1855, and later Rev. 

Jones organized the Baptist church at this point. During 
the days of reconstruction, i865-'7i, great uneasiness was 
felt for fear the negroes should be influenced by the Yankees 
to appropriate the church and all its property for their use. 



14 HISTORY OF 

That was a time in which might made right in ecclesiastical 
affairs as well as State rule. But they fortunately were in- 
duced to build in another quarter of the town. The}' (the 
white people) had about seven white heads of families and 
several hundred negroes — together the whites were in a 
hopeless minority. However, the denomination has pros- 
pered as a Christian people should. 

The Methodist church here appears to have started about 
1845. Dr. David R. Dunlap, a highly educated gentleman 
of the old school, had been raised and trained in the Pres- 
byterian Church, married a Miss Jennings, and after her 
death he was so well pleased with her family, that he mar- 
ried a sister of his first wife, which was against their rules 
of church government, and consequently he was turned out 
of the church. He therefore cast about in his mind where 
he should go; he did not wish to join the Baptists, and he 
could not ask the Presbyterians for reinstatement, conse- 
quently he believed the time had come for the establishment 
here of the Methodist Church. Dr. Dunlap and Mr. Lead- 
well were probably the first members, and in a short time 
more were added to their numbers; and they built a church 
on the corner of College and Seventh streets, and have con- 
tinued to flourish as an evangelical church should do. 
Although they had much to contend with, they have been 
abundantly blessed. 

The Episcopal church commenced laying the foundation 
for a local habitation three quarters of a century ago. They 
occasionally had preaching in the common house of worship, 
which was for all and every one who chose to worship, until 
1832 ; after this they were without a place till a lot and small 
house on West Trade street was secured about 1845. 

The A. R. Presbyterians and Lutherans were last getting 
a start, but in later years have made a growth that has been 
by no means disheartening. The Roman Catholic Church, 
as an organization at least, is second only to the Presbyte- 
rians in having an early start. In the latter part of the 
Eighteenth and first part of the Nineteenth century, no"great 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 5 

progress was made in the religions life. On a page close 
to the beginning of the Twentieth century, I will have more 
to say with regard to the religion o>f the town. 

PHYSICIANS. 

Charlotte has never been afflicted with a dearth of physi- 
cians, as far back as we can trace a doctor's practice. In 
1 815 Dr. McKenzie was the leading physician for a number 
of years ; and from the reputation that he sustained, it is 
inferred that he was well qualified for the responsible posi- 
tion he occupied. In 1822, Dr. D. T. Caldwell commenced 
the practice of medicine. He formed a partnership with 
Dr. McKenzie. One of the partners would go and see the 
patients on the south of town, and the other would go and 
see those on the north side. They would see all the patients 
every other day. This was the era of bleeding. Dr. Cald- 
well said that if he met a fresh case and failed to bleed from 
any cause, he felt sure McKenzie would bleed him to-mor- 
row. If any case was doubtful, they would compromise by 
leeching. Forty years ago it was a common sight to see 
two or more jars two-thirds full of water with a quantity 
of leeches floating about ready for use, in the drug store. 

Dr. Dun'lap came later to Charlotte, and built up a lucra- 
tive practice, which he held for many years. He told me 
he was once sent for to see a man who had been tapped for 
dropsy, and his doctor got tired going so often to tap him, 
and had roughened a goose quill by scraping it both ways 
and then inserted it so the fluid would run out as fast as it 
would collect. Of course it lighted up an inflammation that 
soon carried him off. 

Dr. Tom Harris came about 1840, or probably earlier. 
He was a large, fleshy man, immensely popular, did a large 
practice. He died early, in the midst of his usefulness. 
He and Drs. D. T. and P. C. Caldwell had formed a partner- 
ship that was not only pleasant, but profitable. They had 
seveial young men prepare for the medical college, and I 



1 6 HISTORY OF 

never knew one to fail that had this trio for preceptors. Dr. 
C. J. Fox, Dr. Robert Gibbon, Dr. Macilwaine, were all 
just budding into practice as the century was half over. 
Drs. Gibbon and Fox were active members of the profes- 
sion, and lived long to enjoy the honors of their patrons and 
reap the benefits of a well-spent life. Dr. Macilwaine did not 
remain long in Charlotte — went to Florida. 

Dr. J. M. Davidson spent a long life here, but only en- 
gaged in the practice of medicine more as a past-time than 
as a life pursuit. Gibbon and Fox were the only ones who 
pretended to surgery, or were equipped for whatever came 
along. It was my fortune to be with Dr. Gibbon during 
the war between the States — in the same brigade with him — 
and I can say without hesitation, he was the finest operator 
in surgery that I have ever met with. He was ambidex- 
trous, never thought of turning the patient around, but 
would simply take the knife in the other hand. 

Dr. E. H. Andrews, a dentist, came to Charlotte about 
1846, from Virginia — educated in Baltimore. He was a 
man of pleasant manners, and well qualified for dental work. 
He kept his home office here, but traveled over several 
counties. He was quite a mineraligist, had a collection 
worth several thousand dollars. He was fond of talking 
mineralogy, and spent much time conversingwith his friends. 
In his time there was not much dental work to do. The 
civilization of the present era will have much to be thankful 
for, for the work furnished the dentists of the Twentieth 
century. 

About this time (say in 1845) the business part of town 
was small indeed. The grocery business was undeveloped, 
or rather we should say was unthought of. Salt, whiskey, 
molasses, sugar, and cheese was about all the groceries that 
were usually kept in an inland town. These were kept in a 
dry goods house. Nearly everything that a farmer wanted 
could be found in an ordinary store. Irwin & Elms kept 
where Woodall & Sheppard now have a drug store; Leroy 
Springs in the east corner, where R. H. Jordan's drug store 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. I J 

is now; H. B. & L. S. Williams, Richard Carson, one door 
south ; Mr. Allison, where Burwell & Dunn now have a drug 
store; David Parks, where Gray-Reese Drug Co.'s store is 
now. I think these about all the mercantile houses in the 
town. At this time probably every store was hung 
overhead with bales or bunches of yarn for the chain or 
warp of a web; nearly every farmer's wife had a loom to 
weave cloth for all on the farm. In the early part of the 
century nearly ever article of clothing was spun and woven 
at home ; and during the Confederate war our soldiers were 
largely clothed with the "fruit of looms," made by the good 
women of the South. The old fashioned loaf sugar wrapped 
with twine around blue paper, was hung overhead. This 
sugar was known as loaf sugar, and used on Sunday morning 
to sweeten "bought" tea, and probably a little of it was used 
to sweeten morning dram of brandy or rum. Before the mid- 
dle of the century almost every gentleman kept his decanters 
filled up and every person (of respectability) was invited 
to take a social glass. But those days of close friendship 
by neighborhoods have passed, and the young people know 
but little of the customs that ceased fifty years ago. Dry 
goods stores all kept iron — that is bars of iron, slabs of iron 
for making bull-tongues ; large slabs, eight to twelve inches 
wide by one inch thick, for big, heavy plows, one or two- 
horse plows. These were for breaking the ground and pre- 
paring it for crops. At this time the blacksmith was looked 
upon as an artist. There was no such thing as a hard- 
ware store. The smith had to forge out of the raw material 
every tool that was used in cultivating the farm ; shoes and 
nails to protect the horse's feet; and every hinge for the 
doors and window shutters, and every nail to build the 
house, and to put on the roof with. It was a tedious job to 
make nails for a large roof and all the fastenings. All large 
farmers had a screw plate for cutting screws for their plows 
and wagons. The civilization is very different now from 
what is was in the early years of the century. Cooking 
pots and ovens and lids, a big fireplace and sometimes a 



1 8 HISTORY OF 

Dutch oven, were the only cooking vessels then in use in 
either town or country. Often the cooking utensils were so 
scarce that the same skillet would have to do double duty, as 
heating coffee water, then bake the bread, and last, fry the 
ham. But the people never thought it a hardship, for they 
never heard of any other way and were happy to continue 
in the way their parents trod many years before. It is only 
the restlessness and dissatisfaction with their condition that 
make improvements. 

As the women of our country constitute the best part of 
our population, I will mention names and facts of those who 
exercised an untold influence on the fashions and learning of 
both town and county, in the first half of the Nineteenth 
century. There may have been an earlier caterer to ladies' 
fashions than Mrs. Porter, but if so no record has been pre- 
served. She had her millinery shop on the west side of 
North Tryon street, near the Hunt building. She had a 
great many hot house plants in boxes, a lemon, an orange 
tree — in fact the house was filled with rare plants, besides 
a feathered songster that appeared to be the pet of the shop. 
I was 8 or 10 years old, and probably rode behind my aunt 
for company, hardly for protection, to town to get the latest 
and prettiest fashions for ladies wear, and probably to have 
some work done. Ladies in town and country were in the 
habit of doing their own sewing, except on rare occasions, 
when they would call on an expert. Weddings were as 
popular in the first half of the century as in the closing years. 
It was a rare occurrence to marry in a church, or to go on a 
bridal trip after marriage. Horseback riding was the only 
way of traveling sixty years ago, and but few ladies would 
prefer a trip of this kind to rounds of pleasure, as were fre- 
quently given in many houses in a neighborhood, lasting a 
week. 

Female education was not encouraged with much spirit 
during the first seventy-five years of Charlotte's existence. 
In this early period, when children of school age were not 
so plentiful as in later years, they always had mixed schools. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. IO. 

People who were in affluent circumstances, and could afford 
to give their daughters a higher education than could be 
obtained in the common schools of the country, had a fine 
opportunity to patronize the Moravian school in Salem. 
This institution was much sought after and patronized from 
the Potomac to the Rio Grand, in the first half of the cen- 
tury. But here for the same reason that male schools did 
not flourish, we might say that female schools lagged behind. 
Mrs. S. D. Nye Hutchison, a Northern lady who had earned 
quite a reputation' as a teacher in Raleigh and other places, 
was induced to teach here, with Miss Sarah Davidson as 
music teacher. A suitable house was erected on the square 
now occupied by Mr. J. H. Carson, and the school com- 
menced in 1836. For some three years the school was well 
attended, and was regarded as very prosperous. After 
Mrs. Hutchison ceased to teach, Miss Sarah Davidson con- 
tinued to teach music for many years. In May, 1846, the 
Rev. Cyrus Johnston was called to the pastorate of the Pres- 
byterian church and also took charge of the female school, 
with Miss Sarah Davidson. This school was run with more 
or less regularity till Mr. Johnston was removed by death. 

Male schools in the town were not first-class. Occasion- 
ally an excellent teacher was employed for a term or two, 
but not for a permanent school. A teacher by the name of 
Murphy, in the early forties, gave general satisfaction for 
a term or two; then a man by the name of Denny for a 
short time gave general satisfaction, but thinking that a bet- 
ter paying school could be had out in the county, he en- 
gaged a school in Steel Creek, but being under the influence 
of an evil star, he unmercifully whipped a small boy, for 
which his father fell afoul of him with a wagon whip and 
lifted him every step for fifty yards, when 1 the father gave 
out ; but our quandam teacher did not stop this side of Guil- 
ford. 

Also the services of Mr. Alison were secured for a short 
time, and several others whose names I cannot now recall. 
To perpetuate the history of a town, county or State, it is 



20 HISTORY OF 

necessary that a chair of history, or some fundamental law 
of the land be enacted to take note of the passing- events in 
each county of the State, so that important steps or epochs 
be not lost, and the people be posted as to what is good, 
and warned against what is bad. 

Gen. D. H. Hill, Gen. Jas. H. Lane, and Col. C. C. Lee 
taught a first-class military school here just before the Con- 
federate war, in which not only the teachers, but their pupils 
took a very active part. Col. Thomas was principal of the 
military academy after the war, when the reconstruction 
times were over. Before we have finished this episode, in 
a more appropriate place, we will recur again to this most 
remarkable time that has never had its parallel since civili- 
zation dawned upon the Anglo-Saxon race. 

In the earlier years of the country — say from 1780 to 
1840 — there was a fine school run at all the seven churches 
through the county, and consequently when these congrega- 
tional schools were kept in full blast, but little opportunity 
was left for a school in the village. From the location of 
these seven churches it is evident that Mecklenburg was bet- 
ter off in the way of schools than probably any other county 
in the State. 

In this day of the most advanced civilization the world 
ever saw, if our people would only reflect that their ancestors 
one hundred years ago eat out of pewter dishes, drank their 
dittany or sassafras tea out of the plainest delft, used an 
iron or pewter spoon, the most ordinary knives and two- 
prong forks made of iron with buck-horn handles. A fam- 
ily was fortunate to have any kind of table cutlery. Most 
people used their fingers. Up to 1845 steel knives and two 
prong forks were used by the most fashionable and wealthy 
people in our midst. All the silverware used prior to 1850 
was made at the homes of wealthy people. Silversmiths 
traveled about and got jobs wherever they could find work, 
carrying their tools with them. The inhabitants of Char- 
lotte town were like their country cousins, only dependent 
on them for what they had to buy. But in the olden times 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 21 

every good citizen expected to cultivate a farm, raise his 
own cows, hogs and chickens. Up to the middle of the last 
century, Charlotte furnished a very limited market for coun- 
try produce. Until the advent of the railroad, which first 
entered the town in 1852, but little was brought here for 
sale. Ever since then it has grown to be a market for every 
thing that is raised, for home consumption or shipped to 
larger markets. During the first half of the Nineteenth 
Century cooking utensils were as scarce and as difficult to 
get as convenient tableware. When brass kettles were first 
used only the wealthy, or those in easy circumstances could 
afford to use them, but had to be careful not to leave any- 
thing acid in them, but were useful in many things around 
the fireplace where cooking was being done. The Johnnie 
Cake was extremely fashionable by the well-to-do', but it 
has almost disappeared as cooking utensils have multi- 
plied. It was made of corn meal, salt, lard, and made up 
with hot water or milk, and baked on a board set before the 
fire leaning against a sad iron, rock or brick. As soon 
as well browned, it was buttered and served hot. 

Waffle irons were considered necessary before you could 
have a well appointed cook-kitchen. People were as expert 
at preparing an elegant dinner, or setting a beautiful supper 
table one hundred years ago as now, although they did not 
have the conveniences that we now think are necessities. 

It is important to mention the court house, the place where 
justice has been meted out between man and man for such 
a length of time, and punishment for offences against the 
peace and dignity of the State. The first court house ever 
built in the county was in the public square where Trade 
and Tryon streets cross. It was built upon square posts, or 
columns, some eight or ten feet high, then built up with 
hewn logs a convenient height. This house was honored 
with being the birthplace of the first Declaration of Inde- 
pendence that was ever flung to the breeze in the western 
world. It afterwards witnessed a hard fight and bloodshed 



22 HISTORY OF 

between the American and British forces on the 26th of 
September, 1780. By being built upon posts, any one in 
passing could have a shelter to protect them from' sunshine 
or rain. This house was built about 1767, and was replaced 
by a brick one in the year 1810, when it gave way to an up- 
to-date one on West Trade street, in 1845. Here the courts 
were held for more than fifty years. This house was used 
for public meetings of various kinds, such as county political 
conventions, public speakings, railroad meetings and rail- 
road speeches ; in fact for a long time it was as a public hall, 
and was free to all. 

The new court house just finished as the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury was about to close, was built on the ground where 
formerly stood Queen's Museum, an educational institution 
that the patriotic people of Mecklenburg tried hard to estab- 
lish on a firm basis, but England refused to grant a charter. 
Although it was in charge of graduates of Princeton, Dr. 
McWhirter and Ephraim Brevard, M. D., and other men 
of ability, but it had not encouragement from' home influence 
But one young man ever received a diploma from the insti- 
tution, and in September, 1780, when Lord Cornwallis 
visited town, Queen's Museum was used as a 'hospital, and 
the yard as a burying ground for their soldiers that were 
killed in battle, and were picked off by the ever vigilant 
patriots. In digging the foundation for the present court 
house, several skeletons were exhumed which called to mind 
the stirring times that occurred one hundred and twenty 
years ago. Now the grounds are graced by a handsome court 
house, with all the recent apartments for riling away papers, 
court records in fireproof vaults, that will probably answer 
all purposes for another century. 

MONUMENT TO SIGNERS. 

Immediately in front of this majestic building has been 
erected a handsome monument commemorating the memory 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 23 

of those immortal signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence of May 20, 1775. 

This monument ought to have been erected one hundred 
years ago, before those old heroes who participated in the 
great event had all passed away. 

In the first fifty years of the Nineteenth Century there was 
not a man in the county who had the bold effrontery to deny 
the action of those patriotic men ; but now to deny the dec- 
laration of May 20, 1775, is fashionable with those who do 
not want to know the truth. 

The old pillory and stocks passed away with State's 
rights, so with the whipping' post. The people who tri- 
umphed in the war between the States — who believed that 
"might made right," and acted accordingly, and so many 
thousands, or I say truthfully, hundreds of thousands were 
guilty of stealing, thinking that some day they would be 
held amenable to the law, they forbade corporal punishment, 
such as whipping or cutting off the ears, putting them in the 
stocks lest they should start a race whose backs and ears 
wore the brand of infamy. The penitentiary has been sub- 
stituted for all these forms of punishment, and has proved 
much less effective than the old fashioned way of applying 
the lash to the bare back, as in ante-bellum times. Since our 
people have become somewhat Yankeeized, there is consider- 
able opposition to capital punishment or hanging; but the 
common people are disposed — in flagrant cases — to take the 
law into their own hands and mete out justice swiftly. We 
cannot say when the old jail, at the corner of Tryon and 
Sixth streets, was built, but it served the purpose for many 
years, with stocks and whipping post in the yard, Where 
every one who wanted could see. The gallows was out in 
the eastern part of the city, at that time an old field. Up to 
the war all executions were public, believing the example 
would have a wholesome effect on the multitude; but it is 
not a settled question yet how the extreme penalty of the law 
should be carried out, so as to be a warning to others. The 



24 HISTORY OF 

old prison has been converted into two handsome stores on 
the ground floor, and the second and third stories for a first- 
class boarding house. All west of this point fifty years ago, 
except the First Church lot and cemetery, was old field and 
chinquapin bushes. 



M^y 20. 1775. 

Mecklenburg" county was populated with a race of people 
-not a whit behind any others on the American continent. 
They were independent by nature, having no one to lean 
upon or to appeal to; they were considering well the ques- 
tion if they had not paid taxes long enough to the mother 
country, and had received but oppression when protection 
was looked for; they got weary of being taxed and never 
represented in their Parliament. In 1758, Rev. Alexander 
Craighead was driven from Maryland for preaching against 
kingly authority. He supposed that he would find friends 
in Pennsylvania, but his hopes were soon dispelled, for he 
was promptly told that such doctrine was disagreeable, and 
that he must move on. The tendency at that time was to 
move South, not to get too far away from the coast. Mr. 
Craighead came down into North Carolina and accepted a 
call from Rocky River and Sugar Creek churches. This 
was three years before any church was organized in all this 
section of country. With the help of Revs. McWhirter, Mc- 
Aden and other missionaries, the noted seven churches 
were organized in 1 762 or thereabouts, at all of which places 
it is more than probable that Mr. Craighead preached. He 
was a man of great energy. Wherever he could get a con- 
gregation he would preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and 
instruct the people that it was their duty to resist tyranny; 
that we should resist paying taxes without representationi. 
Here he found willing and eager listeners. In 1762 the 
county was surveyed and soon a county government was or- 
ganized. Among the first things done was to lay off mili- 
tary precincts, and enrol all the males from 18 to 45 to 
bear arms as the militia of the colony. These companies 
were permitted to elect their own officers, to serve as long as 
their physical condition permitted. 

The best men in the county were elected officers in the 



26 HISTORY OF 

militia. Another committee was appointed called "The 
Committee of Safety," to look after the safety of the coun- 
try. When the county was well organized, the great leader, 
Mr. Craighead, was called home after a life well spent in 
laying the foundation for American independence, 1766. 
His body was laid to rest in the first graveyard of Sugar 
Creek church. Has Mecklenburg ever had his equal to 
point out the way to independence, to a representative gov- 
ernment, one that is the friend of the oppressed and that 
has grown in one hundred and twenty-five years to be the 
first power in wealth and influence in the world? Mr. 
Craighead's influence can only be measured by what fol- 
lowed. He laid the foundation of its future greatness. 
After his demise, the good men that he had trained in both 
religion and patriotism, consulted often, in regularly ap- 
pointed places, what would be best for the country, which 
was fast ripening into freedom, and soon to take her place 
in the great family of free and independent States. 

Mecklenburg was more fortunate than other counties, in 
that her citizens had been taught that liberty and independ- 
ence were necessary to achieve the highest aims in life. The 
frequent conferences were held by the leaders of public opin- 
ion where it was convenient. Three of the noted places where 
this Committee of Safety were in the habit of meeting was at 
the residences of Robert Irwin, of Steel Creek; Abram Alex- 
ander, of Sugar Creek; and John McKnitt Alexander, of 
Hopewell. Here at these places was the question of inde- 
pendence discussed, and the people were gotten ready for 
action. The militia officers were men of rank, elders in the 
church, were leading men, justices of the peace, ministers of 
the Gospel, etc. 

Everything, both public and private, tended to Independ- 
ence. In the year 1771, the people of Alamance were so 
oppressed with high taxes that they rebelled against Gov- 
ernor Tryon. The country was wild with excitement, and 
the men organized companies to defend themselves against 
the royal troops from New Bern. In the meantime Meek- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 2J 

lenburg was not idle, but sent troops to aid the patriots of 
Alamance; but the battle was over and the patriots routed 
before the Mecklenburg contingent arrived. Hence our 
troops returned, and as evidence that they would bear true 
allegiance to Great Britain in the future, the governor had 
them sworn to support the crown. This oath was the source 
of much trouble to the conscience of many good people, 
when, a few years later, they were about taking steps to 
dissolve all ties that bound us to the mother country. They 
were at last persuaded that w'hen England had ceased to 
protect them, they were under no obligations to abide by the 
oath formerly taken ; that a contract broken by one side 
ceases to be binding on the other. This solution gave gen- 
eral satisfaction to every true patriot. 

In the summer of 1771, the good people of Lincoln county 
gave a picnic to the people of that county. The excitement 
in Mecklenburg arising from swearing her militia to bear 
true allegiance to the crown, could not be passed over in 
silence. So, when the day for the picnic came, a large party 
from Mecklenburg rode over with flags flying, made of 
white cloth with black letters, so that they could be seen, "In- 
dependence." This was received as an insult, whereupon a 
general fisticuff fight ensued, which shows plainly that Mr. 
Craighead had not labored among the Dutch of Lincoln 
county, to show them the truth as it appears from Scrip- 
ture and common sense. 

This was a time that required the services of the best of 
men to be on the Committee of Public Safety, to be at the 
head of the militia, and at every position in the county. The 
county had great reason- to be proud of her men, and loves to 
point back to her noble women who sacrificed every com- 
fort to aid her soldiers in gaining her independence. The 
Committee of Public Safety notified the commissioned of- 
ficers when they were expected to meet in Charlotte, to take 
specific action on the state of the country. Matters seemed 
to grow more threatening with each year ; whatever part of 
the country was oppressed, was considered a thrust at Meek- 



28 HISTORY OF 

lenburg, for whatever was hurtful to one part was felt by 
all. In other words, we felt the necessity of making com- 
mon cause against a common enemy. 

The Committee of Public Safety notified the commis- 
sioned officers and as many others as could attend to be in 
Charlotte on the 19th of May, 1775. 

[Copied From Francois Xavier Martin's History of North 
Carolina, From the Earliest Period.] 

"Imperfect as the present publication is, it began to en- 
gage the attention of the writer as early as the year 1791. 
At that period the Legislature of North Carolina afforded 
him some aid in the publication of a collection of the statutes 
of the Parliament of England then in force and use within 
the State. In preparing that work, he examined all the 
statutes from Magna Charta to the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and an arrangement of all those which related to 
America, afforded him a complete view of the colonial sys- 
tem of England. In 1803 he was employed by the same 
Legislature to publish a revisal of the acts of the General As- 
sembly, passed during the Proprietary, Royal and State 
Governments, and the local information he acquired in car- 
rying into effect the intentions of those who employed, sug- 
gested the idea of collecting materials for a history of the 
State; and when afterwards he 'had the honor of represent- 
ing the town of New Bern in the House of Commons, he 
was favored with a resolution of the General Assembly, 
authorizing the Secretary of State to allow him access to 
the records of his office. In the speeches of the Governors 
at the opening of the sessions of the Legislature, he found 
a reference to the principal transactions during the recess, 
ar d there were few important events particularly relating 
to the State, which left no trace on the Journals of the Legis- 
lature or the proceedings of the executive. * * * The 
writer imagined he had co'llected sufficient materials to jus- 
tify the hope of producing a history of North Carolina worth 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 29 

the attention of 'his fellow citizens, and he had arranged all 
that related to transactions, anterior to the Declaration of 
Independence, when, 1809, Mr. Madison thought his ser- 
vices were wanted, first in the Mississippi territory and 
afterwards in that of Orleans ; and when the latter territory 
became a State, the new government thought proper to re- 
tain him. He had entertained the hope that the time would 
arrive when disengaged from public duties, he might resume 
the work he had commenced in Carolina; but years have 
rolled away without bringing on this period; and a shock 
his health lately received during the year of 'his great climac- 
teric, has warned him that the moment is arrived when his 
intended work must engage his immediate attention, or be 
absolutely abandoned. * * * The determination has 
been taken to put the work immediately to press in the con- 
dition it was when it reached New Orleans. This has pre- 
vented any use being made of Williamson's History of 
North Carolina, a copy of which did not reach the writer's 
hands till after his arrival in Louisiana. The expectation 
is cherished that the people of North Carolina will receive, 
with indulgence, a work ushered to light under circum- 
stances so untoward." 

Martin, the historian, further states the conditions w'hich 
led up to the appointing of delegates to the convention that 
paved the way to. independence. This all occurred prior to 
1809, after which date he ceased to write any historical 
reminiscences of the country, being so engaged for the wel- 
fare of the purchase ; being a native of France, and other- 
wise well qualified for the position, he was kept until all 
difficulties were adjusted and amicably settled. His health 
gave way, and he was unable to return to 'historical work, 
as he desired to do. 

In the western part of the province the people were still 
eager in their resistance. In the months of March and 
April, 1775, the leading men in the county of Mecklenburg 
held meetings to ascertain the sense of the people, and to 
confirm them in their opposition to the claim of the Parlia- 



30 HISTORY OF 

ment to impose taxes and regulate the internal policy of the 
colonies. 

At one of those meeting's, when it was ascertained that 
the people were prepared to meet their wishes, it was agreed 
that Thomas Polk, then colonel commandant of the county, 
should issue an order directed to each captain of militia, re- 
questing 1 him to call a company meeting to elect two dele- 
gates from his company, to meet in general committee at 
Charlotte, on the 19th of May, giving to the delegates ample 
power to adopt such measures as to them should seem best 
calculated to promote the common cause of defending the 
rights of the colony, and aiding their brethren in Massachu- 
setts. Col. Polk issued the order, and delegates were 
elected. They met in Charlotte on the day appointed. The 
forms of their proceedings and the measures to be proposed 
had been previously agreed upon by the men at whose in- 
stance the committee were assembled. The Rev. Hezekiah 
Jones Balch, Dr. Ephraim Brevard, and William Kennon, 
an attorney-at-law, addressed the committee, and descanted 
on the causes which had led to the existing contest with the 
mother country, and the consequences which were to be ap- 
prehended, unless the people should make a firm and ener- 
getic resistance to the right which Parliament asserted, of 
taxing the colonies and regulating their internal policy. 

On the day on which the committee met, the first intelli- 
gence of the action at Lexington, in Massachusetts, on the 
19th of April, was received in Charlotte. This intelligence 
produced the most decisive effect. A large concourse of 
people had assembled to witness the proceedings of the com- 
mittee. The speakers addressed their discourses as well to 
them as to the committee, and those who were not convinced 
by their reasoning, were influenced by their feelings, and all 
cried out, "Let us be independent ! Let us declare our inde- 
pendence and defend it with our lives and fortunes!" A 
committee was appointed to draw up resolutions. This 
committee was composed of the men who planned the whole 
proceedings, and who had, already, prepared the resolutions 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 3 1 

which it was intended should be submitted to the general 
committee. 

Dr. Ephraim Brevard had drawn up the resolutions some 
time before, and now reported them, with amendments, as 
follows : 

Resolved, That whosoever directly or indirectly abets, or 
in any way, form or manner, countenances the invasion of 
our rights as attempted by the Parliament of Great Britain, 
is an enemy to his country, to America and the rights of 
man. » 

Resolved, That we, the citizens of Mecklenburg county, 
do hereby dissolve the political bonds which have connected 
us with the mother country ; and absolve ourselves from all 
allegiance to the British crown, abjuring all political connec- 
tion with a nation that has wantonly trampled on our rights 
and liberties, and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of 
Americans at Lexington. 

Resolved, That we do declare ourselves a free and inde- 
pendent people ; that we are and of right ought to be a sov- 
ereign and self-governing people, under the power of God 
and the general congress ; to the maintenance of which inde- 
pendence we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co- 
operation, our lives, our fortunes and our most sacred honor. 

Resolved, That we do hereby ordain and adopt as rules 
oi conduct, all and each of our former laws, and the crown 
of Great Britain cannot be considered hereafter as holding 
any rights, privileges or immunities among us. 

Resohed, That all offices, both civil and military, in, this 
county, be entitled to exercise the same powers and author- 
ities as heretofore; that every member of this delegation 
shall henceforth be a civil officer, and' exercise the powers of 
a Justice of the Peace, issue process, hear and determine 
controversies according to law, preserve peace, union and 
harmony in the county, and use every exertion to spread 
the love of liberty and of country, until a more general and 
better organized system of government be established. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted 



32 HISTORY OF 

by express to the President of the Continental Congress, 
assembled in Philadelphia, to be laid before that body. 

These resolutions were unanimously adopted and sub- 
scribed by the delegates. 

Signers of the Declaration of Independence, 20th of 
May, 1775: 

Abraham Alexander, Chairman. 

John McKnitt Alexander, Secretary. 

Ephraim Brevard, Secretary. 
Rev. Hezekiah J. Balch, Charles Alexander, 
John Phieer, Zaccheus Wilson, Jr., 

James Harris, Watghtstill Avery, 

William Kennon, Benjamin Patton, 

John Ford, Matthew McClure. 

Richard Barry, Neill Morrison, 

Henry Downes, Rorert Irwin, 

Esra Alexander, John Flenniken, 

William Graham, David Reese, 

John Oueary, John Davidson, 

Hezekiah Alexander, Richard Harris, Jr., 

Adam Alexander, Thomas Polk. 

James Jack, of Charlotte, but afterwards living in 
Georgia, was engaged to be the bearer of the resolutions to 
the President of Congress, and directed to deliver copies of 
them to the delegates in Congress from North Carolina. 
The President returned a polite answer to the address, 
which accompanied the resolutions, in which he highly ap- 
proved of the measures adopted by the delegates of Meck- 
lenburg, but deemed the subject of the resolutions prema- 
ture to be laid before Congress. Messrs. Caswell, Hooper 
and Hewes forwarded a joint letter, in which they compli- 
mented the people of Mecklenburg for their zeal in the com- 
mon cause, and recommended to them the strict observance 
of good order; that the time would soon come when the 
whole continent would follow their example. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 33 

On the day the resolutions were adopted by the delegates 
in Charlotte, they were read aloud to the people, who had 
assembled in the town, and proclaimed amidst the shouts 
and huzzas, expressing the feelings and determination of all 
present. 

When Capt. Jack reached Salisbury on his way to Phila- 
delphia, the general court was sitting, and Mr. Kennon, an 
attorney-at-law, who had assisted in the proceedings of the 
delegates at Charlotte, was there in Salisbury. At the re- 
quest of the judges, Mr. Kennon read the resolutions aloud 
in open court to a large concourse of people. They were 
listened to with attention and approved by all present. The 
delegates at Charlotte being empowered to adopt such 
measures, as in their opinion would best promote the com- 
mon cause, established a variety of regulations for manag- 
ing the concerns of the county. Courts of justice were held 
under the direction of the delegates. For some months 
these courts were held in Charlotte, but for the convenience 
of the people (for at that time Cabarrus formed part of 
Mecklenburg), two other places were selected and the courts 
were held at each in rotation. The delegates appointed a 
committee of their own body who were called a "Committee 
of Safety," and they were empowered to examine all persons 
brought before them charged with being inimical to the com- 
mon cause, and to send the military into the neighboring 
counties to arrest suspected persons. In the exercise of this 
power, the committees sent into Lincoln and Rowan counties 
and had a number of persons arrested and brought before 
them. Those who manifested penitence for their Toryism, 
and took an oath to support the cause of liberty and the coun- 
try, were discharged. Others were sent under guard into 
South Carolina for safe keeping. The meeting of the dele- 
gates at Charlotte and the proceedings which grew out of 
that meeting produced the zeal and unanimity for which the 
people of Mecklenburg were distinguished during the whole 
of the Revolutionary War. They became united as a band 
of brothers, whose confidence in each other and the cause 



34 HISTORY OF 

which the}- had sworn to support was never shaken in the 
worst of times. 

The history of the convention that convened in Charlotte 
on the 19th and 20th of May, 1775, is detailed by an edu- 
cated lawyer — Francois Xavier Martin — a native of France, 
lived in New Bern, was frequently a member of the North 
Carolina Legislature, was in close contact with the history 
of North Carolina from 1 791 -1809, when he was employed 
by Mr. Madison, as an attorney', to proceed to New Orleans 
and the Western purchased territory ; that he was well quali- 
fied for the work, and also to write history. And we un- 
derstand 1 that previous to 1819, the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence had never been called in question in 
any manner. Some of the signers lived and were able to 
travel around in the county for nearly fifty years after the 
great epoch. Maj. John Davidson lived till 1830. Surely 
the people of Mecklenburg, with all of its boasted intelli- 
gence, would have discovered the fraud before forty years 
had passed over us, or if it was necessary to bolster up the 
famous son, Mr. Jefferson, of an adjoining State. Another 
quotation and that will suffice: 

The following persons attended the meeting at Hillsboro 
August 21, 1775, to consider the state of the country: 
Thomas Polk, John Phifer, Waightstill Avery, Samuel Mar- 
tin, James Houston, and John McKnitt Alexander. 

To the meeting at Halifax, 4th of April, 1776, she sent 
John Phifer, Robert Irwin, and John McKnitt Alexander. 
(The county was ever jealous of her rights, in sending her 
best men as delegates to see that her rights were maintained 
at all hazards. The following instructions were given to 
the delegates from the people, being found among the old 
surviving papers of John McKnitt Alexander. He is the 
author of them, dated 1st September, 1776.) 

Instructions for the delegates of Mecklenburg county : 

"1. You are instructed to vote that the late province of 
North Carolina is and of right ought to be, a free and inde- 
pendent State, invested with all the powers of legislation, 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 35 

capable of making laws to regulate all its internal policy, 
subject only fn its external connections, and foreign com- 
merce, to a negative of a Continental Senate. 

"2. You are instructed to vote for the execution of a Civil 
Government under the authority of the people for the future 
security of all the rights, privileges and prerogatives of the 
State, and the private, natural and unalienable rights of the 
constituting members thereof, either as men or Christians. 
If this should not be confirmed in Congress or Convention, 
protest. 

"3. You are instructed to vote that an equal representa- 
tion be established, and that the qualifications required to 
enable any person or persons to have a voice in legislation, 
may not be secured too high, but that every freeman who 
shall be called upon to support government either in person 
or property, may be admitted thereto. If this should not 
be confirmed, protest and remonstrate. 

"4. You are instructed to vote that legislation be not a 
divided right, and that no man, or body of men be invested 
with a negative on the voice of the people duly collected, and 
that no honors or dignities be conferred, for life, or made 
hereditary, on any person or persons, either legislative or 
executive. If this should not be confirmed, protest and re- 
monstrate. 

"5. You are instructed to vote that all and every person 
or persons seized or possessed of any estate, real or personal, 
agreeable to the last establishment, be confirmed in their 
seizure and possession, to all intents and purposes in law, 
who have not forfeited their right to the protection of the 
State by their criminal practices towards the same. If this 
should no be confirmed — protest. 

"6. You are instructed to vote that deputies to represent 
this State in a Continental Congress be appointed in and by 
the supreme legislative body of the State, the form of nom- 
ination to be submitted to, if free, and also that all officers 
the influence of whose is equally to extend to every part of 
the State, be appointed in the same manner and form' — like- 



36 HISTORY OF 

wise give your consent to the establishing the old political 
divisions, if it should be voted in convention, or to new ones 
if similar. On such establishments taking place, you are 
instructed to vote, in the general, that all officers who are to 
exercise their authority in any or" said districts, be recom- 
mended to the trust only by the freemen of said division — 
to be subject, however, to the general laws and regulations 
of the State. If this should not be substantially confirmed — 
protest. 

"7. You are instructed to move and insist that the people 
you immediately represent be acknowledged to be a distinct 
county of this State as formerly of the late province, with 
the additional privileges of annually electing in their own 
officers, both civil and military, together with the election 
of clerks and sheriff's, by the freemen of the same. The 
choice to be confirmed by the sovereign authority of the 
State, and the officers so invested to be under the jurisdic- 
tion of the State and liable to its cognizance and inflictions 
in case of malpractice. If this should not be confirmed, 
protest and remonstrate. 

"8. You are instructed to vote that no Chief Justice, no 
Secretary of State, no Auditor-General, no Surveyor-Gen- 
eral, no practicing lawyer, no clerk of any court of record, 
no Sheriff, and no person holding a military office in this 
State, shall be a representative of the people in Congress 
or Convention. If this should not be confirmed — contend 
for it. 

"9. You are instructed to vote that all claims against the 
public, except such as accrue upon attendance of Congress or 
Convention, be first submitted to the inspection of a commit- 
tee of nine or more men, inhabitants of the county where 
said claimant is a resident, and without the approbation of 
said committee, it shall not be accepted by the public, for 
which purpose you are to move and insist that a law be en- 
acted to empower the freemen of each county to choose a 
committee of not less than nine men, of whom none are to 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 7>7 

be military officers. If this should not be confirmed — pro- 
test and remonstrate. 

"10. You are instructed to refuse to enter into any com- 
bination of secrecy as members of Congress or Convention, 
and also refuse to subscribe any ensnaring jests binding you 
to an unlimited subjection to the determination of Congress 
or Convention. 

"ri. You are instructed to move and insist that the public 
accounts fairly stated shall be regularly kept in proper 
books, open' to the inspection of all persons whom it may 
concern. If this should not be confirmed — contend for it. 

"12. You are instructed to move and insist that the power 
of County Courts be much more extensive than under the 
former Constitution, both with respect to matters of prop- 
erty and breaches of the peace. If not confirmed — contend 
for it. 

"13. You are instructed to assent and consent to the es- 
tablishment of the Christian religion as contained in the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and more briefly 
comprised in the thirty-nine articles of the Church of Eng- 
land, excluding the 37th Article, together with all the arti- 
cles excepted and not to be imposed on dissenters by the 
act of toleration, and clearly held forth in the Confession 
of Faith compiled by the assembly of divines at Westmin- 
ster, to be the religion of the State, to the utter exclusion 
forever of all and every other (falsely, so-called) religion, 
whether Pagan or Papal, and that the full, free and peace- 
able enjoyment thereof be secured to all and every constitu- 
ent member of the State as their unalienable right as free- 
men, without the imposition of rites and ceremonies, 
whether claiming civil or ecclesiastic power for their source, 
and that a confession and profession of the religion so es- 
tablished shall be necessary in qualifying any person for 
public trust in the State. If this should not be confirmed — 
protest and remonstrate. 

"14. You are instructed to oppose to the utmost any par- 
ticular church or set of clergymen being invested with power 



38 HISTORY OF 

to decree rites and ceremonies and to decide in controversies 
of faith to be submitted to under the influence of penal laws ; 
you are also to oppose the establishment of any mode of 
worship to be supported to the opposition of the rights of 
conscience, together with the destruction of private property. 
You are to understand that under modes of worship are 
comprehended the different forms of swearing by law re- 
quired. You are moreover to oppose the establishing of an 
ecclesiastic supremacy in the sovereign authority of the 
State. You are to oppose the toleration of the popish idola- 
trous worship. If this should not be confirmed, protest and 
remonstrate. 

"15. You are instructed to move and insist that not less 
than four-fifths of the body of which you are members shall, 
in voting, be deemed a majority. If this should not be con- 
firmed, contend for it. 

"16. You are instructed to give your voices to and for 
every motion and bill made or brought into the Congress or 
Convention, where they appear to be for public utility and 
in no way repugnant to the above instruction. 

"17. Gentlemen, the foregoing instructions you are not 
only to look on as instructive, but as charges to which you 
are desired to take special heed as the general rule of your 
conduct as our representatives, and we expect you will exert 
yourselves to the utmost of your ability to obtain the pur- 
poses given you in charge, and wherein you fail either in ob- 
taining or opposing, you are hereby ordered to enter your 
protest against the vote of Congress or Convention as is 
pointed out to you in the above instructions." 

Never was there advice more timely given than is re- 
corded in the above seventeen paragraphs, by John McKnitt 
Alexander, the secretary of the noted and eminently patri- 
otic Convention, that cut loose all the bonds that united us 
with England, the first convention of the kind ever held in 
America or the world. The declaration issued by this Con- 
vention is the admiration of the present generation, and will 
be of generations to the end of time — the first Declaration 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 39 

of Independence in America. At a hasty view, this declara- 
tion made by a colony on the Western frontier of our Ameri- 
can province, may seem rash and unreasonable; but when 
the race and the creed of the people, and their habits, are 
taken into consideration, we wonder at their forbearance. 
This classic declaration expressed 1 a deep settled purpose, 
which the ravages of the British army, in succeeding* years, 
could not shake. Neither the Congress of the United Prov- 
inces, then in session, nor the Congress of the Province of 
North Carolina, which assembled in August of the same 
year, were prepared to second the declaration of Mecklen- 
burg, though the latter appointed committees of safety in 
all the counties, similar to the committee of Mecklenburg. 
The papers of the Convention were preserved by the secre- 
tary, John McKnitt Alexander, till the year 1800, when they 
were destroyed, with his dwelling, by fire. But the Rev. 
Mumphrey Hunter and Gen. Graham, who both had heard 
the Declaration read on the 20th of May, 1775, had ob- 
tained copies, which had been preserved, and Mr. Alexan- 
der gave one himself to Gen. Davie sometime previous to 
the fire. 

The reason for the obscurity in which the proceedings of 
the Convention in Charlotte were for a time buried may be 
found in the facts — first, the county in which they took place 
was far removed from any large seaport or trading city; 
was a frontier, rich in soil and productions, and men, but 
poor in money ; with no person: that had attracted public 
notice, like the Lees and Henry, of Virginia, for eloquence; 
or like Hancock, of Massachusetts, for dignity in a public 
assembly, or Jefferson, for political acumen; and, second, 
the National Declaration in 1776, with the war that fol- 
lowed, so completely absorbed the minds of the whole nation 
that efforts of the few, however patriotic, were cast into the 
shade. In the joy of National Independence, the particular 
part any man or body of men may have acted, was over- 
looked ; and in the bright scenes spread out before a young 
republic, the colonial politics shared the fate of the soldiers 



40 HISTORY OP 

and officers that bore the fatigues and endured the miseries 
of the seven years' war. 

Men were too eager to enjoy liberty and push their specu- 
lations to become rich, to estimate the worth of those 
patriots whose history will be better known by next genera- 
tion, and whose honors will be duly appreciated. 

Some publications were made on this subject in the 
Raleigh Register in 1819, and for a time public attention 
was drawn to the subject in different parts of the country. 

About the year 1830,, some publications were made, call- 
ing in question the authenticity of the document as being 
neither a true paper, nor a paper of a true convention. Dr. 
Josep'h McKnitt Alexander, a son of the old secretary, in- 
heriting much of the spirit of 'his father, felt himself moved 
to defend the honor of his father and the noble men that 
were associated in the county of Mecklenburg. Letters 
were addressed to different individuals who either had taken 
a part in the spirited transactions of 1775, or had been spec- 
tators of those scenes that far outstripped in patriotic daring 
the State at large, or even the Congress assembled in Phila- 
delphia. The attention of all the survivors of revolutionary 
times was awakened ; their feelings were aroused, and they 
came on all sides to the rescue of those men who had pledged 
"their lives, their fortunes, and their most sacred honor." 

The Rev. Humphrey Hunter, who had preached in Steel 
Creek many years, within a few miles of Charlotte, and for 
a number of years in Unity and Goshen, in Lincoln county, 
sent to the son a copy of the Declaration, together with a 
history of the Convention, of which he was an eye witness. 
Gen. Graham, who had grown up near Charlotte, had been 
high sheriff of the county, and was an actor in the Revolu- 
tion, and an eye-witness of the Convention, did the same. 
Captain Jack, who carried the Declaration to Philadelphia, 
gave his solemn asseveration to the facts as an eye-witness 
of the Convention, and as its messenger to Congress. John 
Davidson, a member of the Convention, gave his solemn tes- 
timony, writing from memory, and not presenting copy of 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 41 

the doings, but asserting- the facts and general principles 
of the Convention. He also had a son born on the 20th of 
May 1787 — the twelfth anniversary, whom he called "In- 
dependent Ben," in honor of the day. The Rev. Dr. Cum- 
mins, who had been educated at Queen's Museum, in Char- 
lotte, and was a student at the time of the Convention, af- 
firmed that repeated meetings were held in the hall of 
Queen's Museum by the leading men in Mecklenburg, dis- 
cussing the business to be brought before the Convention 
when assembled. Colonel Polk, of Raleigh, who was a 
youth at the time, and who repeatedly read over the paper 
to different circles on that interesting occasion, affirmed and 
defended the doings of his father, at whose call, by unani- 
mous consent, the delegates assembled. Many less known 
to the public, sent their recollections of the events of the 19th 
and 20th of May. 

Mrs. Susan Smart, whose maiden name was Barnett, was 
born between Charlotte and Pineville, afterwards married 
Smart. When this noted convention met in Charlotte, she 
being 13 years old, was present with every one else able to 
get there, and bore witness to the enthusiasm of the crowd 
in "throwing up of hats," many of them falling on house 
roofs, where it was difficult to get them down. 



The Celebration of the 20th of May, 1775. in the 
Yea^r 1825, and Whott Took Place on that 
D&.te. 

A description of a celebration of the 20th of May as given 
in the Catawba Journal, Charlotte, 1825, which was a 
weekly paper published under the direction of Lemuel Bing- 
ham. The description is as follows : 

Charlotte, Tuesday, May 1825. — Mecklenburg Independence. 

"The celebration which took place in this town on the 20th 
instant was equal to, if it did not surpass, anything 1 of the 
kind ever before witnessed here. The day was fine and 
not uncomfortably warm, and at an early hour a large con- 
course of people, strangers and citizens, 'had assembled to 
honor the day. At 1 1 o'clock a. m. a procession was formed 
under the direction of Col. Thomas G. Polk, on- the street 
south of the court house. Capt. Kennedy's company of 
cavalry and the Fayetteville Artillery, under the command 
of Capt. Thomas Polk, in front, citizens and strangers next, 
and lastly, a band of Revolutionary veterans, sixty or 
seventy in number, wearing badges with the figures '75 
stamped on them. The procession then moved to the Pres- 
byterian church, which, though spacious, was crowded to 
overflowing, and numbers found it impossible to procure 
seats. The exercises at the church commenced with prayer, 
replete with genuine piety and ardent patriotism, by the 
venerable Dr. Humphrey Hunter. This was succeeded by 
appropriate music from the band, after which the Declara- 
tion of Independence by the citizens of Mecklenburg was 
read by the same reverend gentleman. An oration was then 
pronounced by Mr. Monson, which rivetted the attention 
of the audience and caused tears to trickle down the fur- 
rowed cheeks of numbers of the war-worn and hoary-headed 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 43 

veterans. The orator did ample justice to his subject. He 
depicted in animated colors the undaunted patriotism of our 
forefathers, whom no difficulties could dishearten, no terrors 
dismay, no privations subdue; who, looking- only to the jus- 
tice of their cause and the wrongs they had received, indig- 
nantly renounced their allegiance to a government Whose 
protection was felt only in the injuries which it inflicted, 
and whose paternal regard was evinced only in systematic 
attempts to wrest from them all that they held valuable as 
men who claimed freedom as a birthright and to reduce 
them to a stage of bondage worse than death. His address 
to the patriotic band whose venerable forms were before 
him, and whose snowy locks and bended frames formed such 
a striking contrast to the picture he had sketched of their 
youthful strength and vigor, was peculiarly appropriate and 
pathetic, and excited emotions in every breast which may 
be easily imagined, but not described. The address, in 
short, was well conceived and happily executed, and we re- 
gret that it will not be in our power to lay it before our 
readers, as the author has declined the request of the com- 
mittee to furnish a copy for publication. The exercises 
at the church were closed with music and discharges of can- 
non, and the Revolutionary veterans returned in procession, 
escorted by the military. 

"No one present at this celebration could have been en- 
tirely unmoved by the recollections and associations con- 
nected with it. The occasion was peculiarly calculated to 
produce an intensity of feeling, and to elicit reflections at 
once pleasurable and profitable. It was the fiftieth anni- 
versary of an event of which the citizens of Mecklenburg, 
without the imputation of vanity, might justly be proud ; it 
was a fit occasion of joy and gratitude, rejoicing and praise; 
but at the same time the reflection could not but arise in 
many a bosom that but few, very few, of the numbers then 
assembled to commemorate it, would live to witness its re- 
turn. Fifty years hence, and of the multitude then present, 
the greater part will be reposing beneath the clods of the 



44 HISTORY OF 

valley, dust will have returned to dust, and the spirit to Him 
who gave it. 

Such a reflection was well calculated to moderate the feel- 
ings, to induce a soberness of mirth, and to impart an in- 
terest to the scene at once peculiar and impressive. About 
4 o'clock p. m., a large number sat down to a dinner pre- 
pared by Dr. Henderson, in the beautiful grove on the col- 
lege green. Gen. George Graham officiated as president, 
and Mr. Isaac Alexander as vice president. After the cloth 
was removed, the following toasts were drunk, interspersed 
with patriotic songs and accompanied with discharges of 
cannon : 

i. "The day we celebrate." On that day the republican 
banners were unfurled in Charlotte, independence declared 
by the patriotic citizens of Mecklenburg, absolving them- 
selves from all allegiance to Great Britain. May the noble 
deed be engraven on the hearts of all present, and the guilded 
pages of history transmit it to posterity. 

2. "The patriots who signed the Mecklenburg Declara- 
tion of Independence, the 20th of May, 1775." We honor 
them for their firmness, love them for their virtues and ven- 
erate them for their patriotism. 

3. "The memory of those heroes of Lexington, Mass., 
who first sealed the broken covenant with their blood, and 
absolved all allegiance Avith mother Britain." 

4. "Our country and our government." The genius of 
Columbus, the patriotism of Washington, the philosophy of 
Franklin, the wisdom of Jefferson and compatriots, have 
erected a fabric that will last till time shall be no more; 

5. "The heroes of the Revolution." While we hold in 
sacred remembrance those that are gathered to their fathers, 
let us not fail to cherish in our heart's core the scattered 
remnants that yet survive. 

6. "The Presidents of the United States." An able 
statesman, may the administration prove that the confidence 
of Congress was not misplaced. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 45 

7. "The descendants of the patriotic members of the 
Mecklenburg delegation who declared independence." 

Let no mean hope your souls enslave, 
Independent, generous, brave, 
Your fathers such examples gave — 
And such revere. 

8. "Popular elections." There purity and frequency are 
the best security for the safety of our republican institutions 
and the strongest barrier against the encroachments of 
tyranny. 

9. "Internal improvements." 

10. "Andrew Jackson." He has filled the measure of 
his country's story; he is the friend of the people — the peo- 
ple are his friends. 

11. "Bolivia and the independent provinces of South 
America." 

12. "Washington and Lafayette." 

13. "The Fair Sex." Beauty and booty, the war cry of 
slavery — protection to beauty, the watchword of freemen. 

By Dr. James G. M. Ramsay, of Tennessee : "Gen. 
Thomas Polk and Dr. Ephraim Brevard." — The first 
bosoms that ever glowed with the joyous anticipation of 
American independence. 

By Wm. Davidson, Esq : "Henry Clay." — The great 
orator of the west, an able statesman and independent as a 
man — shielded by virtuous patriotism, he is impregnable to 
the shafts of malice. 

By Col. T. G. Polk : "The political prospects of Henry 
Clay." 

Like the dew on the mountain, 

Like the foam on the river, 
Like the bubble on the fountain — 

They are gone and forever. 

By the Hon. H. W. Conner: "General William David- 
son," who fell at Cowan's Ford, bravely fighting for the 
rights and liberties of his country. 



46 HISTORY OF 

By J. H. Blake, Esq. : "Henry Clay."— The undaunted 
champion of universal liberty. 

By Capt. Thomas I. Polk : "The next President of the 
United States." 

By L. H. Alexander: "Andrew Jackson and Wm. H. 
Crawford." 

Copied from the same journal of May 24, 1825. 

"The fiftieth anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration 
of Independence was celebrated in this place on the 20th in- 
stant. Not being able to procure a copy of the toasts in 
season for this week's paper, and other causes intervening 
to render a postponement necessary, we shall defer a partic- 
ular account of the proceedings until our next, barely men- 
tioning at this time that the celebration throughout was 
worthy the occasion and honorable to the public spirit and 
patriotism of Mecklenburg. The "toasts" indicate the 
presence in this semi-centennial celebration of men of both 
parties, who, however much they differed on other matters, 
seemed to have met on common ground. Of the partici- 
pants in these memorial ceremonies a large number appear 
to have been old soldiers of the Revolution." 

At that date, as I ascertain by a paragraph in the Journal 
of May 10, 1825, the only survivor of those who issued the 
resolutions of May 20th was David Reese, then living in 
Cabarrus. It is also evident that the 20th of May 'had been 
commemorated in a similar manner in previous years. 



A Historical Fa.ct Not Generally Known. 

The fate of the original Declaration of Independence, en- 
acted in Charlotte on the 20th of May, 1775, to be of 
any historical importance, is not without its parallel in his- 
tory, for in an article by W. L. Stone, in the July number of 
Harpers Magazine ( 1883) we find the following recited on 
the subject of signing of the Declaration of Independence 
of July 4, 1776: 

"In thinking of that instrument, one is apt to call up be- 
fore him an august assemblage gravely seated around a 
table, with declaration spread out upon it, and each member 
of the Continental Congress in turn taking a pen and with 
great dignity affixing to it his name. Nothing, however, 
can be further from that which actually took place, very few 
of the delegates, if indeed any, signed the original document 
on the 4th, and none signed the present one now in Inde- 
pendence Hall, for the very good reason that it was not then 
in existence. 

"On July 19th, Congress voted that the Declaration be 
engrossed on parchment. Jefferson, however, says that 
New York signed on July 15 th. Consequently, New York 
must have signed the original Declaration before it had 
gone into the hands of the engrosser. On what day the 
work was done by the copyist, is not known. All that is 
certainly known, is that on August 2nd Congress had the 
document as engrossed. This is the document in existence 
now in Independence Hall. It is on parchment or some- 
thing that the trade calls parchment. On that day (August 
2nd) it was signed by all the members present. The origi- 
nal Declaration is lost, or rather was probably purposely de- 
stroyed by Congress. All the signatures were made anew. 
When the business of signing was ended, is not known. 
One, Matthew Thornton, from New Hampshire, signed it 
in November, when he became a member for the first time. 



48 HISTORY OF 

And Thomas McKean, from Delaware, as he say Vvynself, 
did not sign till January, 1777. Indeed, this signing as, 
in effect, what at the present day would be called a 'test 
oath." The principles of many of the new delegates coming 
into Congress from the different States, were not known 
with certainty — some of them might be Tories in disguise — 
and thus each one was required, on first entering Congress, 
to sign the Declaration. In January, 1777, an authenti- 
cated copy, with the names of all the signers, was sent to 
each State for signatures — a fact which may have put a stop 
to the business of signing. It shows, however, the little im- 
portance that was attached to this ceremony, that Robert R. 
Livingston was one of the committee of five that reported 
the Declaration, and yet did not sign it, unless his signature 
is lost with the original document. 

"The truth is the Declaration of Independence was con- 
sidered at that time of much less importance than now, nor 
did the signers dream of its becoming a shrine almost of 
worship at the present day. It was like the Scottish Cov- 
enants of the previous century, which so strongly tinctured 
the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775." 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is so well 
authenticated that it takes a man of more than ordinary 
nerve power to deny, in the presence of the descendants of 
those great and good men, who sat at the feet of Alexander 
Craighead and learned of him those Bible and political truths 
that were established with the freedom and independence of 
our happy country. Bancroft says : "The first public voice 
in America for dissolving all connection with Great Britain, 
came not from the Puritans of New England, the Dutch of 
New York, nor the planters of Virginia, but from Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterians." 

Rev. Alexander Craighead exercised a most wonderful 
influence in Mecklenburg county — before the county was 
laid off — both for Church and State. In 1755 he and his 
friends came to Rocky River and Sugar Creek, and there he 
taught the people the great truths of the Gospel and of 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 49 

Liberty which are indissolubly connected. Presbyterian- 
isrr end Republicanism best flemish together. In the de- 
cayed monarchies of Europe, the hard and rigorous laws by 
which the people are held under priestcraft, are inimical 
to the growth of free governments. Mr. Craighead was 
the main leader in building the seven first churches in this 
county. They were all established about 1762, but it is 
more than probable that they had stands, or groves, for 
three or five years earlier. "Over twenty of the members 
of the Convention of Charlotte, who on May 20, 1775, pro- 
duced the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, 
were connected with the seven Presbyterian churches of the 
county, two of which were Rocky River and Sugar Creek. 
From these two the other five took "life and being." Such 
were the men who, when informed of the troubles "to the 
eastward," rallied to the cry : "The cause of Boston is the 
cause of all." 

With Craighead they held that the right of the people 
were as divine as the rights of kings, for their fathers, and 
they themselves had often listened in rapt attention to his 
thrilling eloquence, and felt as if himself were he on whose 
sole arm hung victory. Although Mr. Craighead died be- 
fore the convention of May 20, 1775, at Charlotte, yet to 
the whole American Nation should revere his memory as the 
fearless champion of those principles of civil and religious 
freedom, which they now enjoy, and which first found ex- 
pression from his old comrades in the immortal Declara- 
tion, the true date of which, in the language of another, 
"Has been as clearly established as the given name of any 
citizen then living in the county." 

The Rev. Dr. A. W. Miller in a sermon delivered at 
Charlotte on May 14, 1876, most truthfully used the follow- 
ing language : 

"If to the people of Mecklenburg county Providence as- 
signed the foremost position in the ranks of patriots, a cen- 
tury ago, let them never cease to hallow the memory of 
that illustrious hero, the Rev. Alexander Craighead, who 



50 HISTORY OF 

prepared them for it, at so great toil and pain, and for years 
and years diligently sowed the seed that produced the glo- 
rious harvest. No ordinary work was given him to do, and 
no ordinary training and discipline fitted him for it. 

"Deeply imbibing the spirit of the Scottish Covenant, 
contending earnestly for the descending obligations of those 
covenants upon all whose ancestors were parties to the same, 
and insisting upon making the adoption of the solemn 
League and Covenant a term of communion for members 
of the church in the colonial as well as the mother country, 
testifying continually to the Headship of Christ over the 
State, and the responsibility of all kings and rulers to Him, 
a failure of whose allegiance to Him would forfeit the alle- 
giance of the people to them; proclaiming everywhere these 
good old doctrines, with a fidelity, and a courage, and a 
zeal, and a constancy, that ought to have secured sympathy 
and commanded admiration. Instead of this, he expe- 
rienced the usual fate of those who are in advance of the 
age. He was opposed, resisted, denounced as an extremist 
and ultra reformer, calumniated as an agitor, and even cen- 
sured by the General Synod of the Presbyterian Church. 
It was not until he came to North Carolina that he found 
a congenial element which he could mould and train success- 
fully in devotion to principles bearing fruit in splendid 
achievements, which now, at this anniversary season, in an- 
other city, are commanding the homage of the representa- 
tives of the world — so successfully trained — that Charlotte 
occupied the front rank more than a year in advance of Phil- 
adelphia, the latter on May 20, 1775, counselling submis- 
sion, the former declaring independence, and so Mecklen- 
burg became the leader of the land." 

Among the notable celebrities of Mecklenburg county 
was Susan Smart — nee Barnett — remarkable for her great 
age and her accurate and vivid recollections of the events 
of the Revolution. Her father was John Barnett, who 
imigrated from Ireland, and who married Ann, the daughter 
of Thomas Spratt, one of the earliest settlers of this county. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 5 1 

Thomas Spratt was the first who crossed the Yadkin river 
with a wagon ; and the first court ever held in Mecklenburg- 
county was convened at his house. Susan Barnett was 
born in 1761, and her sister Mary was the first white child 
born between the two rivers, the Catawba and the Yadkin. 
She married Capt. Thomas Jack, who has been previously 
spoken of. Capt. Jack was the bearer of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of May 20, 1775, to the Continental Congress 
at Philadelphia. Mrs. Smart was present at Charlotte on 
this glorious occasion, and many persons now living have 
listened with great pleasure to her glowing and graphic 
accounts of the enthusiasm which pervaded the whole com- 
munity. It was truly a day of "throwing up of hats," 
many of which she stated, fell on the roof of the court house. 
Miss Susan Barnett married in 1775, George W. Smart, 
who died in May, 1809. The house she occupied was built 
by him. She had always been in the habit of entertaining 
travelers, as she lived on the public road. William H. 
Crawford always stopped at her house on his way to and 
from Washington, and was highly esteemed by her. She 
used to say, "I have rarely been from home, but I have 
known well two of our Presidents, Andrew Jackson and 
James K. Polk. Little Jimmy Polk used to pass along this 
road often to school, barefooted, with his breeches rolled 
up to his knees. He was a mighty bashful little fellow." 
George W. Smart was elected to the Legislature in 
i8o4-'5-'6, served three terms, and had for his colleagues 
Gen. George Graham and Judge Samuel Lowrie. Meck- 
lenburg had giants in those days. 



The Wa^r of 1812-1814. 

The war between England and the United States was 
caused by English sailors deserting their vessels and ap- 
plying for positions in America's merchantmen. The 
English Government claimed the right to search American 
ships for their deserters. This was resisted, and war re- 
sulted, which lasted till the 8th of January, 1815, when 
Jackson won his signal victory at New Orleans. This is not 
the time or place to give history other than what pertains to 
our county, but will run the risk of adverse criticism. 

The six New England States were opposed to this war, 
and refused to give either men or money to prosecute it ; and 
towards the close they determined that if the government 
did not stop the war they mould secede. (If secession was 
right in 181 4, what was wrong with it in 1861 ?) We wish 
to perpetuate the memory of those who were patriotic 
enough to fight for the United States, hence we insert the 
roster of Mecklenburg's five companies that participated in 
the war of 1812-1814. 

SEVENTH COMPANY. 

(Detached from the First Mecklenburg Regiment.) 

Douglass, Joseph, Captain; Kary, Wm, M., Lieutenant ; Walker, 
Wm., Ensign; Brevard, Hamden, First Sergeant; Gibony, David, 
Second Sergeant; Brown, Samuel, Third Sergeant; Barrett, Wm. M., 
Fourth Sergeant; Allen, Thomas, First Corporal; Solon, John, Sec- 
ond Corporal; Pitt, Isaac V., Third Corporal; Duckworth, Robert, 
Fourth Corporal. 

Private Harrison, Adam, Todd, Hugh. 

Wiley, Hugh, Elliott, Hugh, 

Moore, James, Jimison, Arthur, 

Caldwell, John, Parish, Nicholas, 

Hood, Junius, "Walker, Andrew, 

Alexander, David, Roden, Upton, 

Parker, James, Wilson. David B., 

Wallace, Matthew, Love, Joseph, 

McRea, Thomas, Cunningham, Jacob I., 

Phillips, John, Harris, Hugh, 

Farr, Henry, Alexander, Eli, 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



53 



Johnston, Mitchell, 
Lucas, Allen, 
Downy, William, 
Graham, Samuel, 
Bushbey, Will., 
Shepherd, Thomas, 
Lane, Andrew M., 
Worsham, Alexander, 
Weir, Howard, 
Sullivan, William, 
Beaty, Isaac, 
Bingham, Joseph, 
Sharply, William, 
Greggs, Hugh, 
Erwin, Francis, 
Mason Richard, 
Elliott, John B.. 
Darnell, John L., 
Cameron, William, 
Hutchison, Samuel J., 
Clark, Joshua, 
Hutchison, James, 



McLure, John, 
Darnell, John., 
Thompson, Benjamin, 
Moore, Alexander, 
Smith, Alexander, 
Darnell, William, 
Darnell, David, 
Sloan, Allen, 
Pat, John, 
Ferret, John, 
Henderson, David, 
Garreston, Arthur, 
Robertson, Will., 
Summimer, James, 
Solomon, Drury, 
Holmes, Hugh, 

McLilie, , 

Stevenson, Hugh. 
Munteeth, William, 
Scott, Will, 
Alexander, Palan. — 76. 



KIGIITH COMPANY. 



(Detached from the Second Mecklenburg Regiment.) 

Wood, Robert, Captain; Shever, Jacob, Lieutenant; Mape, Peter. 
Second Lieutenant; Wilson, John, Ensign; Flenigan, William, First 
Sergeant; Hooker, John, Second Sergeant; Barns, John, Third Ser- 
geant; Watson, James, Fourth Sergeant; Hammons, John, First 
Corporal; Dafter, Obed, Second Corporal; John, Will, Third Cor- 
poral; Hart, Charles, Fourth Corporal; Stewart, Allen, Drummer; 
Rice, John, Fifer. 



Private Walker, James, 
Brown, John, 
Flenigan, Robert, 
Sharp, William. 
Flenigan, Elias, 
Cheek, Randolph, 
Flanigan, Samuel E., 
McCallok, Elias, 
Stewart, W. Andrew, 
Wiley, Samuel, 
John, Ash, 
Sharp, Cunningham, 
Wiatt, John, 
Black, John, 
Benbow, Paten, 
Bryan. Joseph, 
Purvis, Antheris. 
Clontz, Henry, 
Crowell, Charles, 
, Cuthbertson, John, 
J Lemmon, Wm. L., 



Flow, John, 
Starns, Jacob, 
Boid, Robert, 
McLoyd, Daniel, 
McReley, Roderick, 
Stunford, Moses, 
Broom, Allen, 
Lancey, Charles, 
None, John, 
Belk. Brelon. 
Holden, Samuel, 
Prifley, Valentine, 
Flenigan. Michael, 
Moser, Henry. 
Coughran, Eli, 
Robertson, James, 
Redford, William, 
Shanon, Robert, 
Barns, William, 
Morris, Solomon, 
Pirant, William, 



54 



HISTORY OF 



Pool. William, 
Jesse Yandles, 
Rea, Will, 
Henley, Thomas, 
Ormand, Samuel, 
Fobes, John, 
Ormand, Adam, 
Howard, Lewis, 



McCorcle, John, 
Levey, Will M., 
Thompson, James, 
Long, John, 
Miller, Thomas, 
Givens, Samuel, 
> Martin, William — 



71. 



NINTH COMPANY. 

{Detached from the Second Mecklenburg Regiment.} 

Garretson, John, Captain; Wiley, Isaac, Lieutenant; Sims, Nathan- 
iel, Ensign; Lawyer, Archibald, First Sergeant; Dixon, Ire. B., Sec- 
ond Sergeant; Smith, William, Third Sergeant; Kimmons Joro, 
Fourth Sergeant: Mays, William, First Corporal; Holbrooks, John, 
Second Corporal; Kiser, Frederick, Third Corporal; Grady, Andrew 
M.,Fourt?i Corporal; Kenty, George, Drummer; Jaccour, John, Fifer. 



Private Irwin, John, 

Harris, Samuel H., 
Ross, James, 
Harris, Houston, 
Alexander, John, 
Harris, Isaac, 
Alexander, Laird, 
Campbell, Cyrus, 
Cochran, Robert M., 
Morrison, John, 
Morrison, Robert C, 
McCain, Hugh, 
Bost, Daniel, 
House, Jacob, 
Miller, Henry, 
Rinehart, Jacob, 
Rowe, Henry, 
Bost, Michael, 
Light, John, 
Carrigan, Robert, Sr., 
Carrigan, Robert, Jr., 
Gayler, Theophilus, 
Carrell, John, 
Hamilton, Joseph, 
Houston, David, 
In eels, Andrew, 
Neele, James, 
Flemming, George, 
Icehour, Martin, 
Dove, George, 
Smith, William, 
Linker, George, 



Smith, Daniel, 
Barnhard, John, 
Fink, Son, 
Carriher, Andrew, 
Fink, Phillip, 
Taylous, John S., 
Johnston, John, 
Johnston, Rufus, 
Black, David H., 
Black, John, 
Biggers, Johnston N., 
Newitt, William, 
Right, George, 
Gilmore, Josiah, 
Martin, Edward, 
Kelley, William, 
Wines, William, 
Keelough, Ebenezer, 
Hall, James, 
Gaugus, Jacob, 
Goodnight, John, 
Adam, Freeze, 
Fereland, John, 
Click, John, 
Chapie, Jesse, 
Sneed, iteuben, 
Goodman, John, 
McGraw, James. 
Walter, Charles, 
Shank, Martin, 
Luther, Daniel, 
Simmon, Jacob. — 78. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



55 



MUSTER BOLX,. 

Of the Detached Militia, Organized in August, 181/f. 
Montford Stokes, Major -General; Jeremiah Slade and J. A. Pear- 
son, Brigadier-Generals. 



MECKXENBURG COUNTY TROOPS — FIRST REGIMENT. 

Wilson, James, Captain; Boyd, Thomas, Esq., First Lieutenant; 
Blacwood, Joseph, Second Lieutenant ; Price, Isaac, Third Lieuten- 
ant; Hutchison, Charles, Ensign. 



Private Carson, William, 
Winens, John, 
Garner, Bazilla, 
McCombs, James, 
Barnett, John, 
McKelvia, William, 
Hawkins, John, 
Barnett, Amos, 
Alexander, Ezekiel, 
Shelvey, William, 
Harrison, John C, 
Means, James, 
Hope, Thomas, 
Caldwell, Robert, 
Price, John, 
Parkes, John, Sen., 
Johnston, Samuel, Jr., 
Wallis, William, jr., 
Wallis, Matthew, Jr., 
Parks, Samuel, 
CaldweL, Robert, Jr., 
Wynns, Ann, 
Sadler, John, 
Barnhill, John, 
Julin, Jacob, 
Henderson, James, 
Love, Christopher, 
McCracken, Elisha, 
Dunn, Robert, Jr., 
Parish, Andrew M., 
Dunn, William, 
Lewing, Andrew, Jr., 
Perry, Francis, 
Farra, John, 
Lewing, John, 
Carothers, James, 
Dinkins, James, 
Bingham, Robert, Jr., 
Johnston, John, 
Johnston, William, 
'Neely, Samuel, 
Reed, David, 
Whitesides, Joseph, 
Miles, Augustus, 



West, Matthew, 
Connel, Thomas, 
Benhill, William, 
McKnight, Robert, 
Michael, Baker, 
Baker, Abei, 
McDowell, Hugh, 
Kerr, William, 
Foard, John, 
Baker, Aaron, 
Walker, Andrew, 
Porter, James, 
Beaty, John, 
jjigham, Samuel, 
Pelt, Simon "V., 
Beaty, John, 
Jackson, I eavon, 
Biackburn, John, 
Wilson, John, Jr., 
Brown, John, 
Norman, \vm. S., 
Baxter, Daniel, 
Wilson, Benjamin, 
Elliott, Thomas, 
Conner, James, 
Davis, Daniel,' 
Ellioti, William, 
Hartly, Richard, 
.uuckwonth, George, 
Meek, James, 
^Alexander, James,> 
Jones, joel, 
Sloan, James, 
Morrison, Isaac, Jr., 
Parker, John, 
Mentith, James, 
Williams, Joseph, 
Prim, Andrew, 
Osborne, Robert A., 
White, John, 
Chanels, Michael, 
Steel, John, 
McKellerand, Joseph, 
Goforth, George, 



56 



HISTORY OF 



Alexander, John D., 
Ferrell, Gabriel, 
Irwin, Giles, 
Ferrell, John, 
Wallis, Joseph, 
Hunter, Henry, Jr., 



Ferrell, William, 
Steel, James, 
Gray, Nelson, 
Montgomery, Robert, 
Peoples, Richard, 
Braddy, James A. — 105. 



MECKLEXRURG COUNTY — SECOND REGIMENT. 

Moore, David. Captain; Wilson, John, First Lieutenant; Reed, 
Solomon, Second Lieutenant; Williams, John, Third Lieutenant ; 
Alexander, Albertes, Ensign. 



Private Barfleet, Richard, 
McCall, Matthew, 
McCall, James, 
Thompson, Henry, 
Stewart, Alexander, 
Cherry, William, 
Robertson, James, 
Yandles, Samuel, 
Harbeson, James, 
Shelbey, William, 
Freeman, Gideon, 
Morrison, John, 
Allen, John, 
Forsythe, John, 
Barnes, James, 
Purser, Moses, 
Barns, Micajah, 
Wilkinson, Osburn, 
Allen, Robert, 
Vinsent, Groves, 
Helmes, William, 
Helmes, Charles, 
''Starns, Frederic, 
Starns, Nathaniel, 
Shehorn, Morris, 
Yerby, William, 
Rone, James, 
Belk, John, 
Rich, Daniel, 
Junderbusk, John, 
Flowers, Henry, 
Yandles, David B., 
Alexander, Salamacnus, 
Alexander, Abdon, 
Smart, Osburn, 
Smart, Elisha, 
McCullock, John, 
Cook, Robert, 
Hanson, Steven, 
Craig, Moses, 
McCoy, William, 
Howard, Robert, 
Woodall, vVilliam, 



Gray, Jacob, 
Howie, Aaron, 
King, Andrew, 
Finsher, Joshua, 
Rape, Samuel, 
Rener, Samuel, 
Hamoleton, James, 
Vick, Moses, 
Phillips, John, 
Train, James, 
Berns, George, 
Fisher, William, 
Button, Daniel, 
McAlroy, Hugh, 
Ivey. Jesse, 
Hanley, John, 
Spravey, Benjamin, 
Reed, Joseph, 
Karr, Aaam, 
Matthews, john. 
Parks, George, 
Reed, William, 
Downs, William, 
Taylor, \\ ilson, 
Maglauchlin, Joseph, 
Maygeehee, William, 
Hargett, Henry, 
Hargett, William, 
Helmer, Joel, 
Crowell, John, 
Chainey, Peter, 
Harkey. David, 
Tuter, George, 
Stilwell, Elias, 
Morrison. James, 
Harkey, John, 
Rogers. James, 
Harrison, Robert, 
Hodge, John, 
Lam Pert, Richard, 
£>tory, David W., 
Yomberlin. Moses, ' 
Reak, Edward. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 57 

Morrison, Neel, Dennis, Charles, 

Costley, James, Neel, Samuel, 

Cochran, Thomas S., Fuller, John, 

Houston, Wm„ Jr., Shaw, James, 

Cochran, Robert, Webb, Lewis, 

Wilson, Hugh, Story, James, Sen.— 105 
Hood, Reuben, 

The younger class of those who may see proper to peruse 
this History of Mecklenburg, cannot but see that this 
glorious county has always done her duty when the honor 
of the country was assailed, or our liberties were in jeop- 
ardy. She promptly sent forward 425 men, and partici- 
pated in the strife till the war closed at New Orleans, more 
than two weeks after peace was made. Neither steam nor 
electricity had then been harnessed for the civilization of 
this country. We were then but getting started in the race 
of nations. 



The Members of the GeneraJ Assembly From 
1777 to 1902, Inclusive, and Time of Service. 

YEARS. SENATE. HOUSE. 

1777. . Jno. McK. Alexander. . .Martin Phifer, Waightstill Avery. 

1778. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1779. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1780. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1781. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1782. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1783. .Robt. Irwin Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1784. .James Harris Caleb Phifer, David Wilson. 

1785. .James Harris Caleb Phifer, George Alexander. 

1786. .James Mitchell Caleb Phifer, George Alexander. 

1787 . . Robt. Irwin William Polk, Caleb Phifer. 

1788. .Joseph Graham Joseph Douglas, Caleb Phifer. 

1789. .Joseph Graham Geo. Alexander, Caleb Phifer. 

1790. .Joseph Graham Robert Irwin, William Polk. 

1791. .Joseph Graham Caleb Phifer, William Polk. 

1792. .Joseph Graham Caleb Phifer, Jas. Harris. 

1793. .Joseph Graham Charles Polk, Geo. Graham. 

1794. Joseph Graham . . .Charles Polk, Geo. Graham. 

1795. .Robt. Irwin Charles Polk, Geo. Graham. 

1796. .Geo. Graham David McKee, William Morrison. 

1797 . . Robt. Irwin James Connor, Nathaniel Alexander. 

1798. .Robt. Irwin James Connor, Hugh Parker. 

1799. .Robt. Irwin James Connor, Sherrod Gray. 

1800.. Robt. Irwin Charles Polk, Hugh Parker. 

1801. .Nathaniel Alexander . . .Charles Polk, Alexander Morrison. 

1802. .Nathaniel Alexander ...Thos. Henderson, Alexander Morri- 

son. 

1803. .Geo. Graham Thos. Henderson, Alexander Morri- 

son. 

1804. .Geo. Graham Samuel Lowrie, Thomas Henderson. 

1805. .Geo. Graham Samuel Lowrie, Geo. W. Smart. 

1806. .Geo. Graham Samuel Lowrie, Thomas Henderson. 

1807. .Geo. Graham John Harris, Thomas Henderson. 

1808.. Geo. Graham John Harris, Geo. W. Smart. 

1809. .Geo. Graham Thomas Henderson, Hutchins G. Bur- 
ton. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 59 

YEARS. SENATE. HOUSE. 

1810. .Geo. Graham Thomas Henderson, Hutchins G. Bur- 

ton. 

1811 . .Geo. Graham Jonathan Harris, Henry Massey. 

1812. .Geo. Graham Jonathan Harris, Henry Massey. 

1813. .William Davidson Cunningham Harris, Jonathan Har- 

ris. 

1814. .Jonathan Harris William Beattie, Geo. Hampton. 

1815. .William Davidson John Ray, Abdon Alexander. 

1816. . William Davidson Joab Alexander, John Wilson. 

1817. . William Davidson John Rhea, Jno. Wilson. 

1818. .William L- Davidson . . .John Rhea, Jno. Wilson. 

1819. .Michael McLeary John Rhea, Miles J. Robinson. 

1820. .Michael McLeary John Rhea, Miles J. Robinson. 

1821. .Michael McLeary John Rhea, Samuel McCombs. 

1822. .Michael McLeary John Rhea, Matthew Baine. 

1823. .Michael McLeary Thomas G. Polk, Matthew Baine. 

1824. .Michael McLeary Thomas G. Polk, Matthew Baine. 

1825. .William Davidson Thomas G. Polk, Matthew Baine. 

1826. .Michael McLeary Wm. J. Alexander, Matthew Baine. 

1827. .William Davidson Wm. J. Alexander, Joseph Black- 

wood. 

1828. .William Davidson Wm. J. Alexander, Joseph Black- 

wood. 

1829. .William Davidson Wm. J. Alexander, Evan Alexander. 

1830. .Joseph Blackwood Wm. J. Alexander, Evan Alexander. 

1831. .Henry Massey James Dougherty, Jno. Harte. 

1832. .Henry Massey James Dougherty, Jno. Harte. 

1833. .Washington Morrison.. .Wm. J. Alexander, Andrew Grier. 

1834. .Wm. H. McLeary Wm. J. Alexander, J. M. Hutchison. 

1835. .Stephen Fox. J. A. Dunn, J. M. Hutchison. 

1836.. Stephen Fox J. A. Dunn, J. M. Hutchison, G. W. 

Caldwell. 
1838. .Stephen Fox G. W. Caldwell,' Jas. T. J. Orr, Caleb 

Erwin. 
1840.. J. T. R. Orr G. W. Caldwell, Jno. Walker, Benj. 

Morrow. 
1842. .Jno. Walker Jno. Kirk, Jas. W. Ross, Caleb Er- 
win. 
1844. .Jno. Walker Robt. Lemmons, J. A. Dunn, Jno. 

Kirk. 
1846. .Jno. Walker Jno. W. Potts, Jno N. Davis, Robt. 

Lemmons. 
1848.. Jno. Walker J. K. Harrison, J. M. Davis, J. J. 

Williams. 



60 HISTORY OF 

YEARS. SENATE. HOUSE. 

1850.. Green W. Caldwell Jno. K.Harrison. J. J. Williams, E. 

Constantine Davidson. 

1852.. Green W. Caldwell W. Black, J. A. Dunn, J. Ingram. 

1854. .Jno. Walker W. R. Myers, W. Black. 

1856. . W. R. Myers W. Matthews, W. F. Davidson. 

1858. Wm. F. Davidson H. M. Pritchard, W. Wallace. 

1860. .Jno. Walker S. W. Davis, J. M. Potts. 

1862. .Jno. A. Young J. L. Brown, E. C. Grier. 

1864. . W. M. Grier J. L. Brown, E. C. Grier. 

1866. .J. H. Wilson R. D. Whitley, J. M. Hutchison. 

1868. . Jas. W. Osborne R. D. Whitley, W. M. Grier. 

1870. . H. C. Jones R. P. Waring, J. W. Reid. 

1872. .R. P. Waring Jno. E. Brown, S. W. Reid. 

1873. .R. P. Waring Jno. E. Brown, S. W. Reid. 

1874. .R. P. Waring Jno. E. Brown, S. W. Reid. 

1875. .R. P. Waring. J. L. Jetton, J. Sol. Reid. 

1877. .T. J. Moore Randolph A. Shotwell, W. E. Ardrey. 

1879. . S. B. Alexander W. E. Ardrey, J. L. Brown. 

1881 . . A. Burwell A. G. Neal, E. H. Walker. 

1883.. S. B. Alexander J. S. Myers, T. T. Sandifer, W. H. 

Bailej'. 
1885.. S. B. Alexander W. E. Ardrey, H. D. Stowe, R. P. 

Warring. 
1887.. S. B. Alexander J. T. Kell, J. W. Moore, E. K. P. 

Osborne. 
1889. .J. Sol Reid N. Gibbon, J. Watt Hood, Jas. C. 

Eong. 
1891.. W. E. Ardrey R. A. Grier, J. Watt Hood, W. D. 

Mayes. 
1893. .F. B. McDowell Jno. R. Erwin, Hugh W.Harris, J. L. 

Jetton. 
1895.. W. C. Dowd J. T. Kell, J. D. McCall, Jno. G. Alex- 
ander. 
1897. .J. B. Alexander M. B. Williamson, W. S. Clanton, W. 

P. Craven. 
1899. .F. I. Osborne Heriot Clarkson, R. M. Ransom, J.E. 

Henderson. 
1901.. S. B. Alexander C. H. Duls, W. E. Ardrey, F. M. 

Shan non house. 



T5he County Officers and the Time They 

Served. 

SHERIFFS OF MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 

Thomas Harris was the first sheriff of Mecklenburg. 
How long he served cannot be positively stated, as the books 
were not kept accurately for a number of years. 

The following list is probably the best that can be given : 

Thomas Harris was appointed sheriff "in good old colony 
times, when we lived under the king," just at what date we 
cannot say, but he performed the duties of the office before 
1774, and for some time afterwards. 

James White, Esq., was elected sheriff in July, 1779, by 
the County Court, which was composed of twelve magis- 
trates. They required a bond of $2,000, to be given once 
a year. 

The following is a list of those who constituted the court : 
Abraham Alexander, Hezekiah Alexander, David Reese, 
John McKnitt Alexander, Edward Giles, Robert Irwin, 
John Ford, Adam Alexander, Robert Harris, Robert Har- 
ris, Jr. These were present at the court, and they elected 
the sheriff; in fact, they took the oversight of the entire 
county. There was ten or twelve men in the county who 
appear to have taken control over the courts and administer 
justice as they deemed right and proper. They were cer- 
tainly wise men, and did that which was for the best inter- 
ests of all the people. John McKnitt Alexander, Thomas 
Harris and David Wilson were appointed by the court to 
dispose of the confiscated estates in Mecklenburg county — 
the estates of Tories. Money was depreciated to a great 
extent. The county Court allowed the assessor $30 per 
day in 1779. In 1780 and 1781, $100 per day. It was 
worth about $1.00 to $100. 



62 HISTORY OF 

Thomas Polk was elected sheriff in 1 781, and resig'ned 
in 1782. 

Major-General Joseph Graham became sheriff of Meck- 
lenburg county some time after the Revolutionary war was 
over, and it is not known how long he served, but it is 
more than probable that he served only four or five years, 
for he was State Senator from this county in 1788-' 1794, 
seven years. (In the year 1814 he received the strong 
solicitations of the Governor of North Carolina to command 
a body of men, with the rank of General, to aid Gen. Jack- 
son in quelling an outbreak of the Indians, which he did at 
the battle of the Horse Shoe.) He moved over into Lin- 
coln county, where he engaged in the iron business. 

Sheriff Wilson probably succeeded him for quite a num- 
ber of years, and gave satisfaction to the people of the 
county. 

Col. John Sloan came next into office, with like results; 
that is, satisfaction to the tax payers. 

Joseph McCaughneyhey ruled as sheriff, with old "Uncle 
Billy Todd" as deputy, for a number of years. We can be 
more particular in recent dates. 

Thomas N. Alexander, from 1838 to 1854. 

E. C. Grier, from 1854 to i860. 

W. W. Grier, from i860 to 1862. 

R. M. White, from 1862 to 1872. 

M. E. Alexander, from 1872 to 1884. 

L. A. Potts, from 1884 to 1885 (died). 

W. F. Griffith, from 1885 to 1886. 

T. S. Cooper, from 1886 to 1888. 

Z. T. Smith, from 1888 to 1898. 

N. W. Wallis, 1898. 

The people of Mecklenburg county have reason to be 
proud of their chief executive officers for more than one 
hundred years. Every one has gone out of office doubly 
as strong as he entered on his duties. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 63 

COUNTY TREASURERS. 

Prior to the year 1868, the duties of taking care of and 
disbursing- the money of the county devolved upon the 
sheriff, or some one appointed by the old County Court, 
which never ceased until the rights of the county, with those 
of the State, were denied the people, when the government 
was torn up by the roots in 1865, then everything was 
changed. 

Then they elected their first county treasurer, and it would 
be only justice to say the county never did herself more 
honor than when S. E. Belk was put in charge of the finances 
of the county. 

The first treasurer was a soldier in the war with Mexico 
in 1846 and 1847. He came out of the war with a clean 
record and stood well with the people. In 1861 he volun- 
teered in the Confederate army, was elected Captain of a 
company from Mecklenburg county and assigned to the 
Fifty-third Regiment, North Carolina Troops, where he ac- 
quitted himself most gallantly. Towards the close of the 
war Capt. Belk had the misfortune to lose an arm at the 
shoulder, from which wound he suffered a great deal, and 
at times would become irritable, for which he would apolo- 
gize most humbly. 
' Capt. S. E. Belk, from 1868 to 1884. 

J. H. McClintock, from 1884 to 1894. 

E. H. Walker, from 1894. He is still in office. 

J. H. McClintock served for ten years and, like his prede- 
cessor, fought in the Confederate army till he lost an arm 
in the service of his country. He went to school, gradu- 
ated at Davidson, then taught school, and served his coun- 
try in whatever way the county desired his services. 

REGISTER OE DEEDS. 

The office of Register of Deeds was probably the first of- 
fice ever established in Mecklenburg county. We see it 



64 HISTORY OF 

stated in the court house records that Robert Harris was ap- 
pointed in 1763, in the year when Mecklenburg county was 
legally set apart from Anson. The county was recognized, 
the meets and bounds declared by the surveyor in 1762, 
but not confirmed by the authority of the colony of North 
Carolina until 1763, when the machinery of the county was 
put in motion. Hence we find that — 

Robert Harris was appointed in 1763; served till 1792. 

John McKnitt Alexander, from 1792 to 1808. 

Wm. B. Alexander, from 1808 to 1836. 

The next four years were filled by the sheriff. 

F. M. Ross, elected, 1840 to 1870. 

Wm. Maxwell, from 1870 to 1884. 

J. W. Cobb, from 1884 to 1898. 

A. M. McDonald, from 1898; continues in office. 

The seven men who have held the office of Register of 
Deeds for one hundred and forty-five years show plainly that 
patriots indeed had the oversight of all that pertained to the 
welfare of the county. The men who have exercised the 
functions of office for the last fifty years, were equal in 
point of integrity to any men in any period of the county's 
history. Mecklenburg is exceedingly fortunate in always 
being able to furnish men capable to fill any position with 
honor to themselves and credit to their county. May she 
ever be so fortunate. 

CLERKS OF THE COUNTY COURTS. 

The system of keeping the records of court previous to 
1S36, makes it very difficult to know for a certainty who 
was clerk of court at a given time; hence the clerks of the 
County Court will be given only from 1836: 

Mr. Brawley Oates served from 1836 to 1842. 

Charles T. Alexander from 1842 to 1845. 

Brawley Oates, from 1845 to J 854. 

W. K. Reid, from 1854 to 1862. 

Wm. Maxwell, from 1862 to 1868. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 65 

After this date the old county Court, known as the Peo- 
ples' Court, was done away with by the order of Gen. 
Canby, the Yankee general who happened to be in com- 
mand at the time, although his headquarters were in Charles- 
ton, S. C. All the duties of this court were merged into 
the Superior Court. Soon the docket was so large we had 
an Inferior Court established to try the smaller cases. Then 
afterwards the Criminal Court was inaugurated. Now we 
have these two courts in the county. 

SUPERIOR COURT CLERKS. 

Jennings B. Kerr served from 1842 to 1865. 

Mortimer D. Johnston, from 1865 to 1866. 

E. A. Osborne, from 1866 to 1875. 

John R. Erwin, from 1875 to 1886. 

J. M. Morrow, from 1886 to 1899. 

J. A. Russel, from 1899; still in office. 

The county is to be congratulated on her long line of good 
men for clerks. In all the multiplicity of clerks and other 
county officials since the county was first formed, we have 
had none but the best of men. Every officer has rendered a 
satisfactory account of his stewardship. 



Rev. Alexander Craighead. 

Mr. Craighead came to America in a time that was auspi- 
cious for the work that the march of events was marking out 
for him to engage in. From the most reliable authority we 
are led to date Mr. Craighead's admission into the ministry 
in 1736. He was born in Ireland, and possessed in a large 
degree the characteristics that are peculiar to the Irish peo- 
ple. Being an exceedingly zealous man, of an ardent tem- 
perament, devoted to the work of the ministry, he was noted 
for preaching sermons peculiarly calculated to awaken 
careless sinners. He was accused of irregularities before 
his Presbytery in 1740. No immoralities were alleged 
against him, or false doctrines charged on him; the com- 
plaint was against various proceedings thought to be irregu- 
lar. The Presbytery was unable to make any conclusion 
of the matter, for while the majority were against him, his 
vehement appeals to the public turned the sympathy of the 
community in his favor. The charge of irregularity he re- 
butted by the recriminating charge of Pharisaism, coldness 
fid formality, and in the ardor of his defence he was not 
very measured in his epithets and comparisons. Probably 
the principal cause of the disagreement was Mr. Craighead 
was opposed to British rule, opposed to one church having 
advantages over another. He believed in a separation of 
Church and State. About this time he was directed by the 
Presbytery in Cumberland, January, 1758, to preach at 
Rocky River, on the second Sabbath of February, and at 
other vacant churches till Spring. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery in April, a call from 
Rocky River was presented for the services of Mr. Craig- 
head. He accepted the call and requested installation, 
which was attended toi soon afterwards. It appears that 
this was the first church established in the upper country. 

"In this beautiful, fertile and peaceful country, Mr. Craig- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 67 

head passed the remainder of his days in the active duties of 
a frontier minister of the Gospel, and ended 'his successful 
labors in his Master's vineyard in the month of March, 
1766, the solitary minister between the Yadkin and Ca- 
tawba. In this retired country, too, he found full and un- 
disturbed exercise for that ardent love of personal liberty 
and freedom of opinion w'hich had rendered him obnoxious 
in Pennsvlvania, and was in some measure restrained in 
Virginia. He was ahead of his ministerial brethren in 
Pennsylvania in his views of civil government and religious 
liberty, and became particularly offensive to the governor 
for a pamphlet of a political nature, the authorship of which 
was attributed to him. The Synod disavowed both the 
pamphlet and Mr. Craighead, and agreed with the justice 
that it was calculated to forment disloyal and rebellious 
practices, and disseminate principles of disaffection. 

In Carolina he found a people remote from 1 the seat of au- 
thority, among them the intolerant laws were a dead letter, 
so far divided from other congregations, even of his own 
faith, that there could be no collision with 'him on account of 
faith or practice; so united in their general principles of re- 
ligion and church government that he was the teacher of 
the whole population, and here his spirit rested. Here he 
passed his days ; here he poured forth his principles of reli- 
gious and civil government, undisturbed by the jealousy of 
the government, too distant to be aware of his doings, or 
too careless to be interested in the poor and distant emi- 
grants on the Catawba. Mr. Craighead had the privi- 
lege of forming the principles, both civil and religious, in 
no measured degree, of a race of men that feared God, and 
feared not labor and hardship, or the face of man; a race 
that sought for freedom and property in the wilderness, and 
having found them, rejoiced — a race capable of great ex- 
cellence, mental and physical, whose minds could conceive 
the glorious idea of Independence and whose convention an- 
nounced it to the world in May, 1775, and whose hands sus- 
tained it in the trying scenes of the Revolution." 



68 HISTORY OF 

Previous to the year 1 750, the immigration to this beauti- 
ful, but distant frontier, was slow and the solitary cabins 
were found upon the borders of prairies and in the vicinity 
oif canebreaks, the immense ranges abounding with wild 
game, and affording sustenance the whole year, for herds 
of tame cattle. Extensive tracts of country between the 
Yadkin and the Catawba, now waving with thrifty forests, 
then were covered with tall grass, with scarcely a bush or 
shrub, looking at first view as if immense grazing farms 
had been at once abandoned, the houses disappearing, and 
the abundant grass luxuriating in its native wildness and 
beauty, the will herds wandering at pleasure, and nature re- 
joicing in undisturbed quietness. At the time of the settle- 
ment of Mr. Craighead, the county of Anson extended in- 
definitely west, having been set off in 1749 as a separate 
county. In the year 1762, the county of Mecklenburg was 
set off from Anson, and took its name in honor of the reign- 
ing house of Hanover; and the county seat, in the bounds 
of Sugar Creek congregation, and about three miles from 
the church, was called Charlotte, in honor of the Princess 
Charlotte of Mecklenburg. There were seven congrega- 
tions in a short time, in Mecklenburg, except a part of Cen- 
tre, which lay in Rowan: — now Iredell — and in their exten- 
sive bounds comprehended almost the entire county, viz. : 
Steel Creek, Providence, Hopewell, Centre, Rocky River, 
Poplar Tent and Sugar Creek. From these came the dele- 
gates that formed the celebrated convention that met in 
Charlotte on the 20th of May, 1775. In this old grave- 
yard of Sugar Creek church, where Mr. Craighead preached 
the most of his time, is certainly a spot of remarkable inter- 
est. It was 'here in 1 766 that this wonderful man was given 
sepulcher. Borne to his grave on two sassafras hand-spikes, 
and one placed at the head and one at the foot of the grave, 
both grew into large trees ; but in the course of time they 
have fallen; they have been sawed up into lumber and 
church furniture made of them. The grave is now marked 
by a neat slab of marble, with an iron fence around the 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 69 

grave. A cenotaph has been erected in the cemetery in 
Charlotte to his memory, but not one person in a thousand 
of those who visit the city are ever told that such a man 
ever lived, or see the monument to inquire "What does this 
mean, or what good did he effect?" We hold that much 
of the spirit of Independence that was exhibited in Char- 
lotte in May, 1775, was the result of his teaching. 

Although he died nine years before this convention! met, 
yet his doctrine was gladly received, and bore fruit to the 
good of this people. His grand-son, Rev. S. C. Caldwell, 
preached in Sugar Creek from 1792 to 1826, and did much 
work in building up Hopewell and Mallard Creek, organized 
and built up Paw Creek, and devoted considerable toward 
building the church in Charlotte, although the church in 
Charlotte was not organized till 1832. Rev. Dr. Hall Mor- 
rison preached at Sugar Creek for several years after Mr. 
Caldwell died in 1826, and then in 1837 was elected Presi- 
dent of Davidson College. The next minister at Sugar 
Creek was Rev. J. M. M. Caldwell, a great-grand-son of the 
first minister, Mr. Alexander Craighead. Who shall say 
that the covenant of God is not visited from 'the fathers to 
the children, in the infinite mercy of God? Another name, 
which will never be forgotten in Mecklenburg, although on 
a very humble stone in "this city of the dead," is Abraham 
Alexander, the chairman of the convention of the 20th of 
May, 1775. Not only was he an active patriot, but an ac- 
tive member of Sugar Creek church. 

A large number of the descendants of Hezekiah Alexan- 
der — a brother of John McKnitt Alexander — still live in 
the county, but are not sure whether their ancestor was 
buried in Sugar Creek or Hopewell. Strange that such 
carelessness should have been permitted, but such is the 
fact in every church yard in the county. The po'Sterity of 
these early patriots have ever been our best class of citizens, 
as pertaining to both Church and State. And it is a noted 
fact that no descendant of a Revolutionary hero bore arms 
against his home, or took sides with the Federals to destroy 



7C HISTORY OF 

the civilization of the South. The blood of 1775 continued 
to tell from 1 861 -'65. People who were Tones in the first 
revolution had descendants who> were Tories in our last. In 
the early part of the Nineteenth century, Archibald Frew 
built probably the finest house in the county. Mr. Frew 
was visited by misfortune, and the residence passed into 
other hands. Dr. D. T. Caldwell became owner of the 
place, and his son, R. B. Caldwell, and his sister, Miss Alice, 
live there. The place now appears to be of the fashion that 
was in vogue three quarters of a century ago. Descend- 
ants of some of the old settlers are still in the neighborhood, 
viz. : Robinsons, Barnetts, Alexanders, Hendersons, etc. It 
was here, on the highway that Col. Locke was killed Septem- 
ber 26, 1780, after the fight in Charlotte; also where Gen. 
Graham was severely wounded, and was taken care of by 
"Aunt Susey," when quite a young girl.. 



[THE 



PUBLIC LIBRA 



ASTORAENOXAND 
mD£N FOUNDATIONS. 




DR. D. T. CALDWELL. 



Dr. D. T. Caldwell. 

Dr. D. T. Caldwell was the son of that eminent divine, 
Rev. S. C. Caldwell, and Abagail Bain, daughter of John 
McKnitt Alexander. Dr. Caldwell was born about 1796. 
He was educated by his father at Sugar Creek church. 
From there he went to the University. He was in college 
with President Polk and other men who occupied high posi- 
tions in both church and State; he graduated about 1820. 
He studied medicine under Dr. McKenzie, and after attend- 
ing lectures in Philadelphia, he practiced with him. He 
often said one of them would go on the north side of town 
one day, and on the south next day. By this arrangement 
each one would see all the cases every other day. Bleeding 
was the order of the day, and if Dr. Caldwell failed to bleed 
a fresh case, he felt sure Dr. McKenzie would not pass him 
by. Doctors were not plentiful in those early days, and a 
man who was qualified for the profession had no idle time. 
Dr. Caldwell would frequently ride out to his father's to 
get a night's sleep. In 1826 he married Harriet, a daughter 
of Hon. William Davidson, who filled many offices of public 
trust. Dr. Caldwell continued to do a large practice for 
many years, was very popular and much respected. Has 
now but three of his children living. His son, Dr. William 
D., died many years ago. He was a soldier in the Trans- 
Mississippi army. Baxter was in the army of Northern 
Virginia. He lives on the old homestead, never married; 
is an excellent farmer. His sister, Miss Alice, keeps house 
for him. Mrs. S. J. Donald, nee Miss Sarah Jane Cald- 
well, lives in Greensboro, happily situated. Dr. D. T. Cald- 
well lost his wife in the terrible epidemic of erysipelas in 
1845 that proved a scourge to the people of the northern 
part of the county, that will be talked of till all the witnesses 
are removed by death. He was an elder in Sugar Creek 
church from an early period, and was a most exemplary man 



/2 HISTORY OF 

in all the walks of life. His second wife was a Miss Hutch- 
ison, of Rock Hill, S. C, a most excellent woman. She had 
but one daughter, who married Mr. Walter Rawlinson. 
She left three children and died young. Dr. Caldwell died 
December 25, 1861. A good citizen. 



15he Lives and Peculiarities of Some of the 
Signers of the Declaration of Independence 
of May 20, 1775. 

As Col. Tom Polk lived ten years after the independence 
of the United States was established, he entertained Gen. 
Washington in 1791, in Charlotte, when on his southern 
tour ; was one of the most prominent and popular citizens of 
our county, his reputation was cleared of every stain, and no 
one dared to calumniate his revolutionary record. He died in 
1793, and his wife Susannah, who preceded him many years, 
was buried in the old cemetery of Charlotte back of the old 
church. He had much to do with those early patriots in 
securing independence for the people of Mecklenburg, and 
through them for the people of the Western world. Suf- 
ficient credit cannot be given the plain people for the noble 
stand they maintained in those years of trial. 

MA J. JOHN DAVIDSON. 

As for Maj. John Davidson, a signer of the Declaration 
of Independence of Mecklenburg, every one who; knew him 
could attest that he was not only the truest of patriots, but 
one of the most devoted of Christians. He lived to extreme 
old age, far into the Nineteenth century, lacking but three 
years of attaining his one hundredth birthday. He was 
born in Cecil, Md. While but a small boy he lost his father, 
and his mother, whose maiden name was Isabella Ram- 
say — with her two children, John and Mary, moved to 
Rowan county and purchased a farm. Here she found a 
fine school to educate her children, and for the teacher there 
was a mutual attraction, which resulted in a marriage be- 
tween Mrs. Davidson and Mr. Henry. When John became 
of age he moved to Mecklenburg with his sister Mary, to 
keep house for him. He was a skillful blacksmith, and for 



74 HISTORY OF 

many, many years followed the trade. Blacksmithing at that 
period was a lucrative business, and competition was not 
close as it got to be in after years. He married an English 
lady — Violet, a daughter of Samuel Wilson' — who was a 
near kinsman of Gen. Wilson, in whose veins flowed the 
blood of royalty. Their royal kinsman, Sir Robert 
Wilson, made them a visit once before the Revolutionary 
war, but never repeated it. He prospered far beyond 
his compeers, and took a great interest in developing the 
iron industry of the country after the war. He ap- 
pears to have lived an exemplary Christian. Some inci- 
dents are related illustrative of his character. His oldest 
grand-daughter (a noted beauty) married a distinguished 
and wealthy South Carolinian, William Edward Hayne. 
This led 1 to more gay company in the old homestead than 
usual ; and sometimes the guests differed widely from their 
host in manners and opinions. On one occasion a party of 
gentlemen who had adopted the principles of French phi- 
losophy then so prevalent, were visiting at his house. Know- 
ing that they were avowed atheists, and believing that his 
father's evening devotions would only subject him to ridi- 
cule, one of the younger Davidsons suggested that, for once, 
they be omitted. But such was not in keeping with the in- 
dependent and conscientious character of Maj. Davidson. 
When the hour for retiring came, he said quietly, "Gentle- 
men, it is always my custom to close the day with Scripture 
reading and prayer in my family. If you choose to be 
present, you are most welcome to do so. If not, you can 
retire to your own rooms." They decided to remain, and 
for once in their lives listened respectfully on bended knees 
to an earnest prayer from the lips of a very earnest wor- 
shipper. 

Another grand-daughter, a gay young girl who was moth- 
erless and consequently much at his bouse, had the usual 
dislike of young ladies for early rising, and consequently 
she was sometimes late at morning prayers. The grand- 
father was usually very patient, but at last administered a 



MKCKLENBURG COUNTY. 75 

mild rebuke. He said : "Mary, I hope you will marry some 
one who will make you come to prayers," The hope seemed 
to be prophecy, for she married the Rev. Dr. R. H. Morri- 
son, who during- his long- life, was especially strict in re- 
quiring 1 every member of his family to be present, at both 
morning- and evening prayers. Notwithstanding- this (or 
let us say, in consequence of it) he was the most tender and 
devoted of husbands and fathers. Maj. Davidson's last 
years were spent at the home, and in the devoted care of his 
youngest daughter, Elizabeth. She married William Lee 
Davidson, the youngest son and namesake of her father's 
old friend, the officer who fell at his post of duty at Cowan's 
Ford, and whose death at the hands of a Tory, ought to pro- 
tect him f,rom all subsequent misrepresentations. 

Maj. Davidson was a man of wealth, attended strictly to 
his own business, and was very industrious and spent no 
money foolishly. His slaves were native Africans, bought 
from the New England slave ship which landed their pitiful 
cargoes on the wharfs of Charleston, S. C. That was the 
Pandora's box from which issued untold evils to our people 
one hundred years later. Although it was a master stroke 
to civilization and Christianized the cannibal tribes of Af- 
rica. 

During the time of African slavery in the United States, 
there was 700,000 converted to Christianity from "hoodoo- 
ing" cannibals. Greater progress was made here with the 
slaves than was effected by the missionaries of all other 
Christian nations in their home country. But their free- 
dom was a great blessing to the white people of the South. 
How e-entle and faithful and affectionate thev became to 
their Christian masters and mistresses. And it seemed 
natural for them to hate "poore white trash." In fact the 
negroes of the rich had but little time for the negroes of 
those who owned but two or three. 

Maj. Davidson's title was first conferred upon him by 
Gov. Tryon, and afterwards re-conferred upon him by the 
Provincial Congress. His home was about fifteen miles 



y6 HISTORY OF 

northwest of Charlotte, near the Catawba river; and his 
sons located themselves on adjoining plantations. The old- 
est son, Robert (called Robin), married Margaret Osborne 
(known far and near as "Aunt Peggy" ) . She was the grand- 
daughter of Alexander Osborne and Agnes McWhirter. 
The second son, John, (commonly called Jacky), married 
Sarah Brevard, grand-daughter of John Brevard and Jane 
McWhirter. "Jackey" had the most stentorian voice in the 
State. He could deliver a message two miles by calling out. 
The third son, Benjamin Wilson (named in honor of his 
grand uncle, Benjamin Wilson, of England, who was the 
father of Gen. Sir Robert Wilson), married Elizabeth Latta, 
and lived about seven miles east of his father. Benjamin 
was called "Independence Ben" because he was born on May 
20, 1787. The three elder daughters of Maj. Davidson mar- 
ried distinguished rebel officers, Captain Alexander Bre- 
vard, Gen. Joseph Graham, and Dr. William McLean, who 
was an army surgeon. Another daughter, Sarah, married 
Rev. Alexander Caldwell, son of Rev. David Caldwell, 
D. D., of Guilford, who suffered almost martyrdom for the 
sake of independence. 

They had two sons and one daughter — probably the 
most remarkable family, not only in Mecklenburg county, 
but in North Carolina. They were noted for their mental 
calibre, their mind appeared to grasp whatever subject or 
problem came within their reach, and when once fixed in 
their mind, was there never to be forgotten. Their energy 
and industry was unsurpassed, and their influence was felt 
for miles around them. Mr. D. A. Caldwell, one of the 
brothers, was a man o>f great determination, always ready 
to contend for what he considered was right; he was any- 
thing else than a policy man. He possessed that mould of 
features that was peculiar to men of a former day, that de- 
noted friendship, decision of character, and did not know 
what fear was ; and was the very soul of honor. 

When the Confederate soldiers were wending their way 
home, the war being over, a captain and twelve men — cav- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. JJ 

airy— rode up and said they would stay all night with him ; 
in the meantime one of their horses became so badly found- 
ered that it was impossible for it to travel, so the captain 
looked around at Mr. Caldwell's stable and selected his fam- 
ily carriage horse, and said he would be obliged to take it. 
Mr. Caldwell told him he could not spare that horse, but 
was willing to let them have another horse that was not so 
valuable. The captain said no, "I must 'have the bey horse." 
I was immediately sent for, and hastened to his aid. He 
met me at the back door and told me he wanted me to wit- 
ness what was about to transpire. We walked to 1 the front 
door where the captain and his men were saddling their 
horses. The captain spoke kindly, or rather I should say, 
politely, "Mr. Caldwell, you have entertained us kindly, fed 
our horses, showed us all the courtesies we could expect, but 
necessity knows no law ; I will certainly take the bey 
horse." Mr. Caldwell replied, "I will kill whoever puts his 
hand on my horse." The captain said, "There is thirteen of 
us and but one of you. Would you sacrifice your life for a 
horse?" "Not for a horse, but for the principle of the thing, 
I will do it quick." The captain told his troopers to let the 
horse alone. These three — the Caldwell branc'h — lived to an 
average age of 90 years, and their offspring still inherits all 
the fine qualities of their ancestors. 

The youngest daughter, as before stated, married Wil- 
liam Lee Davidson. So that no family in the county was 
more thoroughly identified with the achievement o>f national 
independence. Maj. Davidson shared the labors of his 
newly purchased slaves, and instructed them personally in 
every branch of plantation work. And he did everything 
so well with his own hands that his grand-sons would laugh 
and say : "Grand-father can do everything in the world, ex- 
cept shear a sheep." He had tried to assist in the sheep- 
shearing, and failed so signally that it was a standing joke 
in the family ever afterwards. His handsome old brick 
mansion, built after the close of the war, was unfortunately 
destroyed by fire a few years ago, but his plantation is still 



78 HISTORY OE 

in the hands of 'his descendants. His grave and that of his 
wife may still be seen near his homestead. 

HEZEKIAH ALEXANDER. 

Four of the six Alexanders who signed the Mecklenburg 
Declaration were so well known in the county that they are 
still spoken of with reverence and affection. We know 
just where their homes were, and their graves are with us to 
this day. The principal transactions of their lives are re- 
corded in history. But of the other two, Ezra and Charles, 
diligent enquiry has revealed nothing that is satisfactory from 
the oldest citizens. One informant was under the impres- 
sion that they lived within the bounds of Providence, and 
were neighbors of Ezekiel Polk, and like him, were atheists. 
If this is true, they probably emigrated with him to Tennes- 
see, carrying with them their circulating library or infidel 
literature, and so both they and their books disappeared and 
were a good riddance to their fellow citizens. Hezekiah 
and John McKnitt Alexander were brothers, and were near 
kinsman of the Brevard family. Hezekiah Alexander was 
born in Pennsylvania the 13th of January, 1722. By the 
Provincial Congress at Hillsboro (21st August, 1775) he 
was appointed with Griffin Rutherford, John Brevard and 
Benjamin Patton and others a Committee of Safety for the 
Salisbury District, which included Mecklenburg within its 
bounds. In April, 1776, he, was appointed with William 
Sharp, again on a Council of Safety — an evidence of the 
great respect inspired by his intellect and integrity. He 
afterwards held the position of paymaster to the Fourth 
Regiment of North Carolina Continentals, of which Thomas 
Folk was colonel, James Thackston lieutenant-colonel, and 
William Lee Davidson major. In November, 1776, he 
was elected a member of the Provincial Congress from 
Mecklenburg with Waightstill Avery, Robert Irwin, John 
Phifer, Zaceheus Wilson as colleagues, which assembly 
formed the Constitution of North Carolina. He died in 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 79 

1 80 1, and is buried in Sugar Creek church graveyard. His 
house, a stone building of good proportions, is still stand- 
ing, about four miles from Charlotte, near the old Potter 
road, a highway that was in use before our town was laid 
off or located. The old house has a great cavern of a cellar 
where tradition says Mrs. Hezekiah Alexander used to store 
the rich products of the farm, many jars of honey being part 
of their contents. Just in front of the cellar door is, or used 
to be, a large flat stone; and upon this stone the British sol- 
diers broke all the jars of honey which they could not carry 
away with them. They would not leave anything for the 
old rebel and his family. There is a beautiful spring near 
the house with a stone arch built over it, a stone spring house 
for dairy purposes, whose size indicates that milk, butter 
and cheese must have been so abundant as to require con- 
siderable room. 

Like all the colonial homes, a meadow was near by — prob- 
ably once smooth and green and a thing of rare beauty ; but 
now defaced with corn furrows and rough stalks of stubble 
left by the last crop. Tradition states that the two daught- 
ers of Hezekiah Alexander were very beautiful women. 
Mrs. Captain Cook, who was deputed by the town to enter- 
tain Gen. Washington when he was the town's guest in 1791, 
was considered a good judge of female beauty, having seen 
much of the world, and she said she had never seen any 
beauties who equaled these two Misses Alexander. One of 
them married Charley Polk and met a very tragic fate. 
Her husband was cleaning his gun in her room (where she 
was sitting with her child in her arms) , when it went off and 
killed her. He subsequently announced his intention of 
marrying his beautiful sister-in-law, but her brothers ob- 
jected very decidedly, and his own brothers also interfered 
to prevent the marriage, and he had to give it up. Dare- 
devil as he was, he could not dare everything. The lady 
died unmarried. Waightstill Avery, the friend of Hezekiah 
Alexander, made his home at his house during 'his residence 
in Mecklenburg, and rode into town every day to his law 



8o HISTORY OE 

office. The sons of the family did not think it safe to re- 
main at home during the occupation of Charlotte by the 
British, as foraging parties might be expected at any time, 
but of course had to return occasionally for their supplies ; 
and their mother used to hang a signal from one of the upper 
windows when she thought it safe for them to come home. 
On the walls of the house may be seen the date of its erec- 
tion, 1774. 

JOHN M'KNITT ALEXANDER. 

No man in Mecklenburg county in Colonial times seems 
to have had more of the confidence and love of his fellow- 
utizens (or rather fellow sufferers) than John McKnitt 
Alexander. His devoted piety, his open-handed and never- 
ceasing hospitality, and excellent good sense made him a 
leader among the best class of the community. His grand- 
son, Dr. J. G. M. Ramsay, the well-known historian of Ten- 
nessee, tells that when Ochiltree, the traitor, found that 
Cornwallis was preparing to leave Charlotte, he knew that 
the citizens would punish him as he deserved, for accepting 
from the enemies of his country the office of Quartermaster 
after having signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. He had grown rich in his mercantile dealing 
with the Mecklenburg people and was loath to leave the 
property he had accumulated here. He determined to ap- 
peal to John McKnitt Alexander for protection, as being 
the kindest-hearted and most influential man in the county. 
So, on the night previous to the evacuation he mounted his 
horse and rode nine miles up what is called the Statesville 
road to the house of Alexander, but found no one at home 
except Mrs. Alexander and her children and servants. She 
knew him well, having bought goods from him for years as 
a merchant, and refused to admit him and refused to tell 
him where her husband was. He pledged the honor of a 
British officer that his intentions were good, and reached 
his sword to her through the window as a guarantee of his 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 8l 

truth. Mrs. Alexander's pity was aroused and she agreed 
to send for her husband, who was at one of the many mili- 
tary camps then dotting the country. This one was Maj. 
Sharp's, the one nearest his own house. Her little daughter 
Peggy, a girl of thirteen, attended by a faithful slave, 
Venus, was sent to bring her father. On returning home 
with the child, Ochiltree threw himself upon his protection, 
asking security for person and property, after the British 
army had left. But all the milk of human kindness had been 
turned to gall in the patriot's heart. The former friend ana 
colleague had sinned too deeply to be forgiven. He said : 
"Ochiltree, if I had met you anywhere else, I would 
have killed you; in my own house your life is safe. But I 
advise you to cross the Yadkin before daylight, otherwise 
you will never witness another daylight. Your life is for- 
feited." The panic-stricken traitor knew that if John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander had no pity on him, nobody else would, and 
he took his advice and fled. That was the last seen of 
Ochiltree. It was reported that he reached Wilmington 
safely and afterwards escaped to the coast of Florida. Pre- 
vious to this time, Ochiltree had been sending out foraging 
parties to every plantation which he knew so well, to obtain 
supplies for the British troops. No man was base enough 
to sell to him, and many poor soldiers paid their lives for 
being his messengers. McKnitt Alexander was wealthy, 
and the produce of his plantation was very great. He said 
to his foreman, "Cato, the moment you see the red-coats 
enter our lane, run quick and set fire to the stock yard and 
barn. Duncan Ochiltree shall not have one bundle of my 
fodder." And in loyalty to his master, Cato and Ruth did 
actually burn to ashes the whole result of a year's labor. 

The delegates from Mecklenburg who were elected to 
the Provincial Congress which met at Halifax 1776, were 
John Phifer, Robert Irwin, and John McKnitt Alexander. 
He was secretary to the convention in Charlotte which de- 
clared independence. He was treasurer for the two Synods 
(then united in one) of North and South Carolina. His 



82 HISTORY OF 

house was headquarters for the clergymen of his church, 
and hence his daughters naturally married the pastors 
of the surrounding congregations. Rev. James Wallis, of. 
Providence, and Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, of Sugar 
Creek. 

Like the other colonists of means, he educated his oldest 
son Joseph McKnitt Alexander, at Princeton. A list of 
the Princeton graduates of Mecklenburg would be quite a 
long one. The Alexander plantation when Cato and Ruth 
burned the stock yard and barn, was said to be the largest 
in the county ; and in those days large estates in land was the 
rule rather than the exception. Wheeler calls Thomas 
Polk's estate "princely." But the McKnitt Alexander place 
was said to be ten miles square. John McKnitt Alexander 
was a member of the convention which formed the State 
Constitution; and in 1777 we find him in the State Senate, 
while Waightstill Avery and Martin Phifer were members, 
the same date, of the House of Commons. This was his last 
appearance in public life. He was buried at Hopewell 
church, one of the seven noted churches of Colonial times. 
His sister, Mrs. Tamima Sharp, is buried at Sugar Creek. 
She used to say her nearest neighbor on the north was eight 
miles distant, and southward and eastward, fifteen miles. 
Just think of the loneliness and desolation of that Indian- 
haunted region and what these people were willing to en- 
dure for conscience sake. 

John McKnitt Alexander's eldest son Joseph, a graduate 
of Princeton, married Dovey. the daughter of Moses Wins- 
low, and the grand-daughter of Alexander Osborne and 
his wife Agnes McWhirter. The second son, William 
Bane, married Violet, a daughter of Maj. John Davidson. 
Both are said to have been very beautiful women. In Colo- 
rial days, Mecklenburg was renowned for beautiful women. 



■ MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 83 

"SACRED TO THE MEMORY OE JOHN m'kNITT ALEXANDER, 
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE JULY IO, 1817, AGED 84." 

By his side is buried his wife, Jane Bain, who died 
March 16, 1798, aged 30 years. Two sons, Joseph Mc- 
Knitt, M. D.. and William Bain Alexander. The first mar- 
ried Dewey Winslow, who died September 6, 1801, aged 25, 
leaving one son, Moses Winslow Alexander, M. D. 

Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander was born in 1774 and died 
October 1.8, 1841. His son, Moses Winslow Alexander, 
was born May 3, 1798, and died February 27, 1845. The 
children of William Bain Alexander, who married Violet 
Davidson, a daughter of Maj. John Davidson, were four- 
teen in number, seven sons and seven daughters: 

1. loseph, married Nancy Cathy; moved to Alabama in 

1835- ' 

2. William B., married Clarissa Alexander. 

3. Robert D., married Abigail Bain Caldwell. 

4. Benjamin Wilson, married Elvira McCoy. 

5. James McKnitt, married Mary Wilson. 

6. George Washington, married first Sarah Harris; sec- 
ond, Gillespie ; third, Jetton. 

7. John Ramsay, married Harriet Henderson. 

8. Jane Bain, married Capt. John Sharp. 

9. Margaret Davidson, married David R. Henderson. 

10. Rebecca, married Marshall McCoy. 

11. Sally Davidson, never married. 

12. Abigail, married Henderson Robertson. 

13. Betsy, married Dr. Isaac Wilson. 

14. Isabella, married Dr. Calvin W T ier. 

This is copied from Wheeler's Reminiscences, published 
in 1884. Persons desiring it carried out still further, have 
plenty of data to draw from. 

ABRAHAM ALEXANDER. 

The home of Abraham Alexander was about three miles 
northeast of Charlotte, and was known in the neighborhood 



84 HISTORY OF 

as Alexander's Mill. It is now very difficult to locate the 
exact spot; it is only by referring to old papers and land 
deeds that the old place can be recognized. An old excava- 
tion almost filled with the washings of the surrounding soil, 
•s the only vestige of the Colonial home. It is now a very 
desolate looking spot; but when forest trees crowned the 
hills around the little valley, once smooth and green, and 
the now vanished spring bubbled at the foot of a gentle slope 
upon which the dwelling stood, and sent forth its sparkling 
brook to meet the larger stream which turned the mill wheel 
it may have been a ver)' charming place. The grand-son, 
Elias Alexander, built a handsome brick house on another 
portion of the estate which is still standing. From all we 
can learn of Abraham Alexander, he was a quiet, God-fear- 
ing man, and much belcved and respected by his neighbors. 
When he rode through the forest on that balmy May morn- 
ing to take his seat as chairman of the Mecklenburg Conven- 
tion, he probably had not the faintest idea that he was 
making a name in history for himself and his family. He 
no doubt thought he was doing his simple duty as an humble 
Christian citizen. Verging upon three score years of age, 
he had no youthful enthusiasm for new ways. But he had 
sat reverently under Craighead's ministry, and probably 
imbibed every one of his political opinions. We can im- 
agine his soliloquy as he jogs along to the stormy meeting 
before him. He may be saying to himself: "The Bible 
certainly commands us to submit ourselves to 'the powers 
that be;' yes, yes, to 'the powers that be.' But the ques- 
tion is, what and who are the powers that be ! If we are 
stronger than our oppressors, are not we ourselves the pow- 
ers that be ? And is it not sinful supineness to neglect to ex- 
ercise the powers that God gives us? We can try it any 
how, and the effort to free ourselves will be an appeal to 
God, and He himself shall decide the question." And here 
we will imagine that he meets his neighbors Hezekiah Alex- 
ander from the neighboring farm, bound like himself, to the 
meeting in Charlotte and they begin to discuss the ques- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 85 

tion, "I wish our old pastor Craighead was alive now to ad- 
vise us what to do." "I know very well what he would ad- 
vise us to do," answered Hezekiah. "He would preach Us a 
sermon on the duty of putting down bad rulers and substi- 
tuting good ones. We are commanded to put men into 
power who hate covetousness. Now you know very well, 
neighbor, that sole object of the many deputies who rule 
us in the King's name, is to enrich themselves as fast as pos- 
sible at the expense of the public. We are commanded to 
have men of truth as rulers — our royal governors are liars, 
promising redress and never keeping their word. We are 
commanded to have able men to rule us. And according 
to all accounts, our King George is anything but an able 
man. At least he is not able enough to save us from op>- 
pression by his deputies." And so these Bible taught men 
come prepared to do their duty — humbly, reverently, we 
hope prayerfully. They ride together into Tryon street and 
dismount at the gates of Queen's College. (The people 
never took kindly to the new name of Liberty Hall, and 
through all subsequent changes called their institution 
Queen's College.) Had the men who met them that day 
been endowed with the gift of second sight, they would have 
looked forward to the death of State's Rights upon the very 
spot where Independence was born ; for here in Tryon street, 
Charlotte, Jefferson Davis made his last public address as 
President of the Confederate States. State's Rights lived 
less than one hundred years, and died an awful death, in- 
cluding various battles at the North, but their full strength 
was only shown when their own colony was invaded. 
Abraham Alexander was too old for military service, but he 
was none the less a hero and true patriot. He lived long 
enough to see his hopes realized in the establishment of 
American Independence. His tombstone may be seen in 
the cemetery of Sugar Creek church, overshadowed by a 
splendid oak, and bearing the inscription, "Let me die the 
death of the righteous and let my last end be like his." 



86 HISTORY OF 

DR. KPIIRAIM BREVARD. 

The Brevards were i Rowan family, and the only meml>er 
that we can claim is Dr. Ephraim, who married in Meck- 
lenburg - and became a citizen of this county. The Os- 
bornes were also Rowan people, and the Lockes and Bran- 
dons and Sharps and Wins-lows. George Locke, however, 
we may partly claim, as he died upon our soil and in de- 
fence of our county. The saddest history in our revolution- 
ary annals is that of Dr. Brevard, our martyr. Locke died a 
fearful death, cut to pieces by the sabres of Tarleton's dread 
and merciless drgoons, while vainly trying to shield him- 
self by holding up his rifle. His death agony, however, 
was short, while Brevard died by inches in all the long an- 
guish of a barbarous imprisonment. The horrible prison 
ships of Charleston were meant to be death-traps. Bad 
food, worse water, and still worse air, were the fiendish 
agencies used to kill hundreds of men and unnumbered 
broken hearts of widowed women and orphaned children. 
So strange and terrible are the vicissitudes of nations. 

So many truthful and able pens have told the history 
of the convention, that it need not be repeated here, as it 
has a place set apart for it, separate and distinct, as this 
chapter tells more of those who participated in this wonder- 
ful convention. After it the people felt themselves free ot 
all royal authority ; and they arrested and punished all who 
maintained that the British government was still in force. 

The Queen's College students were full of republican 
ardor, and formed themselves into a military company in the 
following year, February, 1776, to assist in defending- our 
maritime frontier. The victory at Moor's Creek, intelli- 
gence of which met them at Campbleton, rendeied their 
campaign and their vacation a short one. But each one of 
these students did good service in other fields subsequently. 
Wm. Richardson Davie, John George and Joseph Graham, 
Francis Locke, Paul Phifer, Wm. McLean were only a few 
of the youths who were educated in Charlotte, although 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 87 

some of them afterwards supplemented their education at 
Princeton and Philadelphia. The snow campaign under 
Gen. Rutherford kept our county busily excited for some 
portion of the same year. Rutherford was a Rowan citi- 
zen, and therefore we make no claim to one leaf of his bril- 
liant laurels, but many Mecklenburg men fought under 
him (our county and Rowan forming one military district) 
and helped in putting down the Seovillite Tories and the 
Cherokee Indians. The campaign was sharp and bloody, 
but completely successful. 

In the three or four following years Mecklenburg men 
fought the Tories wherever found. The longing for home 
killed some, for people in those days loved home with a ten- 
derly passionate affection, which we migratory, travel-loving 
people can scarcely understand. How often I have heard 
of old people longing to behold the old spring which ran 
near the father's door; and shedding tears of joy at again 
listening to the old familiar hymns sung in the country 
churches when they were children. They were like the old 
Scotch woman, dying in the slums of London and asking 
her pastor with her failing breath if he thought the dear 
Lord would allow her to go by her old highland home on 
her way to heaven. An old woman in Mecklenburg- county, 
who was married while young and moved West, spent her 
life in the far West, returned in her old age and was so re- 
joiced to get home that she said now she was ready to die. 
The wish was granted, and she was buried with her kindred 
and friends in the old cemetery in Charlotte. Dr. Brevard 
was one of these tender, loving natives. In his childhood 
his love for his little sister led him to perform an act of hero- 
ism which cost him the loss of one of his eyes. Returning 
from school one evening, he heard his sister scream; her 
clothing had caught fire from one of the numerous brush- 
heaps which always made the pioneer's newly cleared 
ground so picturesque a scene. Rushing to her assistance, 
and entirely forgetful of his own safety, he struck his eye 
against a bough and received so severe an injury that the 



88 HISTORY OF 

sight was destroyed, and he went through life with only one 
eye. Of course, a man of such loving - and self-sacrificing 
disposition would naturally have devoted friends; yes, 
friends who were ready to die for him. One of his patients 
— an old woman — hearing of his sufferings in prison, deter- 
mined to go to Charleston and do what she could for him. 
Other women in Mecklenburg had sons and brothers in the 
dreadful prison ships, and they formed a party to go down 
and offer themselves as nurses. They set out on foot, trav- 
eling through a thinly settled country which afforded little 
or no accommodations to wayfarers; but they struggled 
bravely on, laden with medicines and hospital stores, and at 
length reached their destination. Oh, the brave, tender, 
noble women of revolutionary days ; working women, home- 
spun-clad, but rich with all the sweet attributes of sanctified 
womanhood. Bible-loving, church-going women, who were 
willing to endure all things in the path of duty. Mrs. Jack- 
son, the mother of a subsecpient President, was one of these 
Charleston nurses, and was so broken down by her efforts 
that she died on the way home. Died in a tent which had 
probably been furnished them by some of our own soldiers, 
to shelter them from the weather. She was buried bv the 
roadside, and the spot is now forgotten. The British evac- 
uated Charleston in May, 1782, but our local historians say 
that Dr. Brevard was released in 1781, and if that is true, 
he was probably exchanged for some noted prisoner in 
the hands of the Americans. Once free, his great desire 
was to reach his loved home, his reverend old mother and his 
motherless child. In those days there were no conveniences 
for travel. Our hardy ancestors made long journeys on 
foot — at best they traveled on horseback, or wagons without 
springs. So our dying hero set out from Charleston to 
reach home. The long, wearisome journey, with failing 
strength and failing nerves and no hope of rest until he 
reached home. What a tedious, suffering struggle it was. 
But love conquers all obstacles. He must get home — must 
see his mother and his child, and the beloved scenes of his 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 89 

childhood. He reaches Charlotte at length, where his happy- 
young married days had been spent, and where his wife, 
Mary Polk, was buried; but his mother's house was still 
twenty-five miles further on — the original home had been 
burned by the British soldiers, but another stood upon the 
loved spot. 

Thank God the vandal avengers could not destroy the 
landscape of wood arid meadow and of firm, white sand 
where his mother, in the absence of primary books, had 
taught her children to read by drawing the letters and words 
with a pointed stick. The mother, Jane McWhirter, came 
of a noble family whose blood had flowed in martyrdom be- 
fore they crossed the Atlantic. She and her sister Agnes 
(Mrs. Alexander Osborne) lived on neighboring plantations 
in Rowan — now Iredell county. Their old mother lived 
with them, and their brother, Rev. Dr. McWhirter, an in- 
timate friend of Gen. Washington, was sent south by Con- 
gress to animate the Southern colonies in defence of their 
homes and their religion. And here we would say that to 
be consistent, Christian ministers must always preach 
against war, except in extreme cases. Undoubtedly our 
Lord commands us to resist not evil, but in defence of home 
and women and children and Bible truth, we may resort 
to arms. The Scotch, the Scotch-Irish and the English 
Puritans held the same views on these subjects. 

To talk to them of the "pomp and circumstance of war" 
was useless labor — mere clap-trap. Glory won by conquest 
was equally opposed to these principles. Brute courage was 
essentially unmanly. But to die in defence of God's Bible 
truth, that was another thing. They could not obey God 
unless they had political and religious liberty. Dr. Bre- 
vard and his fellow prisoners had the comforts of believing 
that their martyrdom, cruel as it was, was securing for 
their fellow countrymen the great boon of a righteous gov- 
ernment and an unfettered church. 

Dr. Brevard was one of the leading spirits of the Meck- 
lenburg Convention that set in motion the liberty we 



90 HISTORY OF 

achieved in the eighteenth century. He thought much and 
clearly upon the subject, and Foote gives a long paper of 
instructions to our legislative delegates, written by him. 
Worn out by disease and fatigue, he reached the house of 
his friend and kinsman, McKnitt Alexander, and could go 
no further. We hope his mother and daughter reached 
his bedside before his death, but history gives us no par- 
ticulars. His long sufferings ended there, and Foote says 
he was buried at Hopewell church. Others say his body 
was brought to Charlotte and buried beside his wife in the 
grounds of Queen's College. As these grounds were used 
for a burying place for the Cornwallis soldiers, it seems 
scarcely probable that our noblest hero should be laid be- 
side them. Especially as the town had a cemetery of its 
own in which his wife's mother was buried, and two years 
later her father, Gen. Tom. Polk. So we are compelled to 
think there is some mistake about it, and that both he and 
wife are buried in our old church cemetery in Charlotte. 



Some of the B&r One Hundred Years Ago. 

HON. SAMUEL LOWRIE. 

He was a native of New Castle county, State of Dela- 
ware, born May 12, 1756; son of Robert and Elizabeth 
Lowrie. When a child his parents moved to Rowan county 
and he was educated at Clio Academy, Iredell county, by 
Rev. James Hall. He studied law in Camden, S. C, and 
was elected to the House of Commons from this county in 
1804, 1805 and 1806, when he was elected a judge of the 
Superior Court, which he held until his death, on the 22nd 
of December, 181 8. He married in 1788 Margaret, 
daughter of Robert Alexander, who left him with several 
children; and second time, 181 1, he married Mary, daughter 
of Marmaduke Norfleet, of Bertie county. He was a man 
of most engaging manners, a fine conversationalist, very 
learned in the law. His judicial district covered a great 
deal of territory, extended down into the eastern counties. 
Some of his descendants still live in Mecklenburg. The 
family were noted for intellect, both men and women, and 
were looked up to as leaders of thought, and were critics of 
more than ordinary ability, especially the female members 
of the family. 

JOSEPH WIESON, ESQ. 

A most distinguished lawyer and statesman, resided and 
died in Charlotte, which for many years was the scene of his 
services and honors. Joseph Wilson's early education was 
as good as the country afforded. He was under the care of 
Rev. David Caldwell, and by the advice of Reuben Wood, 
he studied law. He was licensed in 1804, and came to the 
bar at the same time with Israel Pickens, of Burke county, 
afterwards Governor of Alabama. By the perseverance of 
his character, the force of his intellect and steady applica- 



92 HISTORY OF 

tion he arose to eminence in his profession. He settled for 
a while in Stokes county; he represented that county in the 
State Legislature in i8io-'n-'i2. He distinguished him- 
self by his warm advocacy of the war with England. About 
this time he made his home in Charlotte; was elected Solici- 
tor of the Mountain Circuit, then embracing nearly all the 
western part of the State. His unsurpassed zeal and in- 
domitable energy with which he discharged his duties of 
this responsible position, when the country was swarming 
with law-breakers, in bringing them to punishment, was in- 
deed a hazardous undertaking. More than once was his 
life threatened for upholding the majesty of the law. He 
continued in this office until his death, which occurred in 
August, 1829. He left quite a large family, who inherited 
largely their father's talents. His daughter, Catharine, 
married William J. Alexander, Esq., who was as profound 
a lawyer as his accomplished father-in-law. Another of his 
daughters. Miss Roxana, married Dr. P. C. Caldwell, the 
most distinguished physician in the county. Miss Cousa 
Wilson, another daughter, who was never married, but par- 
took largely of the intellectual qualities of her father. Of 
Mr. Wm. J. Alexander's family much could be said of the 
mental attainments, and of the brilliancy and beauty of the 
women. Miss Mary Wood Alexander was admired by the 
most talented young men of the town, but she thought best 
to remain heart-whole and fancy free, and applied herself 
to the education of young girls, fitting them to fill useful 
stations in life. Miss Laura also remained single, and 
applied her talents on the stage, where she shone brilliantly 
for a while, but her sun went down when her friends thought 
she had scarcely reached half way to her meridian. Both 
sons, William and Joseph, attained honorable positions in 
the Confederate army, and proved themselves worthy of 
their parentage. Their father, W. J. Alexander, attained 
a reputation as a lawyer, but few men ever reach. Early 
in the latter half of the last centurv he and his familv moved 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 93 

to Lincoln county, where he remained until he died. His 
brother, Washington Alexander, also a lawyer, lived here, 
was well known as an advocate, did much practice in the 
forties, but did not have the great reputation of his brother 
Julius. 

In 1846, at a gala day in Charlotte, when the town was 
crowded with negroes, one man was overheard to say : "I 
believe there are negroes enough here to pay all of Julius 
Alexander's debts," and some one replied, "I think it doubt- 
ful." 

JAMES W. OSBORNE. 

James W. Osborne began the practice of law about 1830. 
He was much sought after to take capital cases. It was 
conceded that if Mr. Osborne could not clear a case of mur- 
der, or any other capital case, he must be guilty. Besides 
his logical powers of reasoning, he was the most eloquent 
lawyer that ever appeared at the bar in the western part of 
North Carolina. He was an elder in the Presbyterian 
Church and often attended church courts, and was by no 
means a silent member, but took an active part in whatever 
pertained to the spiritual welfare of the church. He left a 
record as a jurist that any man might well be proud of. His 
memory should be cherished by the people of the town and 
county, and his character emulated by the youth of the State. 
His widow still lives in the city at a good age, surrounded by 
her son's familv and hosts of friends to cheer her in her 
declining years. 

J. HARVEY WILSON. 

Mr. J. Harvey Wilson, another lawyer of eminence, came 
to the bar about the same time and took a high stand with his 
brethren, and also with the people. 

He came of a lineage that would have pushed to the front 



94 HISTORY OF 

a man of less natural ability. He was a son of the Rev. 
John McCamie Wilson, D. D., who was regarded as a 
preacher of wonderful power, and had much to do in form- 
ing- the sturdy character of the people of this section. Blood 
will tell by cropping out in after generations; so we are 
always glad to know that our ancestors were of good blood. 
At this time we will only speak of those who held promi- 
nent positions before the century was half over. 



President James Knox Polk. 

When 1 1 years old his father, Samuel Polk, moved to 
Tennessee, and sent his son James K. Polk, at a proper age, 
back to North Carolina to the University at Chapel Hill, 
where he graduated with the highest honors of the Univer- 
sity. It is said that he never missed a college duty in four 
years. In those honest days no wonder he became Presi- 
dent of the United States. There is no other man, for 
whom is claimed three distinct places of birth, in Mecklen- 
burg county. Each one appears to be well authenticated. 
On the south side of Big Sugar Creek, near the present town 
of Pineville, was where Samuel Polk lived; that was the 
place he took his wife when married; hence the neighbors 
say here was the birthplace of President Polk. Again, Mrs. 
Susan Smart, the same girl who was present on the 20th of 
May, 1775, then known as Susan Barnet, in 1848, told Har- 
vey Wilson, Esq., an eminent lawyer, that President Polk 
was born in the house occupied by Richard Carson, now 
owned by L. W. Saunders. The child had an enormously 
larsre head when born — so much so that all the old women 
and the doctors thought that he would be an idiot, or had 
dropsy of the brain. When old Mrs. Smart heard the re- 
port of the child being an idiot, she at once ordered her 
carriage and drove up to Charlotte to see the baby for her- 
self. When she went into the house she saw no signs of a 
baby, and she asked the young mother where the baby was. 
She told her it was in bed. "Well, I want to see it." Mrs. 
Polk went to the bed and brought the child out for Mrs. 
Smart's inspection. After a thorough inspection, Mrs. 
Smart said: "Your child is all right, and will some day 
be President of the United States." Mrs. Polk was 
delighted at the prophecy, and fifty years later Mrs. Smart 
was equally elated at the young man's success. 

Mr. James P. Wilson has just given me this version, 



g6 HISTORY OF 

and was 16 years old when he heard Mrs. Smart relate the 
story to his father. 

An Irish family by the name of Alcorn, living fifteen miles 
northwest of Charlotte, who came to this country about a 
century ago, with three children; when the oldest girl was 
about 13 years old, she was hired to nurse the baby, and 
wait on Mrs. Polk when not busy with the child. Many 
years afterwards, when the girl had become an old woman, 
she said it was a common thing for a young woman to go 
back to her mother to be confined with her first child. Mrs. 
Polk came back to be with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James 
Knox, between Hopewell and Huntersville. This is where 
they lived and died. A tombstone in Hopewell graveyard 
marks the place where they were buried. 

This very plausible version of his birthplace was given by 
my venerable friend, E. A. McCaulay, Esq., who married a 
daughter of the nurse of the President. The child and nurse 
are now both in the spirit land, where no anxiety about the 
place of either birth or death will cause a trouble to dis- 
quiet their never ending repose. 



William Davidson. 

William Davidson lived and was a very active man in 
the first half of the Nineteenth century. He was a man of 
much wealth, owned many negroes, was public spirited, and 
did much for the county. Mr. Davidson represented Meck- 
lenburg in the State Senate for several years; first in 1813, 
then in i8i5-'i6-'i7-'i8, again in 1825, and then in 
i827-'28-'29. He also served several sessions in Congress. 
His family moved in the best circles. His daughter, Har- 
riet, married Dr. D. T. Caldwell, who practiced medicine in 
Charlotte for many years, and raised a worthy family. An- 
other married a Mr. Blake. They had one son and two 
daughters. They were a handsome trio. The son was edu- 
cated at Annapolis and served in the United States navy in 
the war with Mexico, and afterwards till 1861, when he 
joined the Confederate States navy, and soon died with hem- 
orrhage of the lungs. The young ladies passed away early 
in life. Miss Sarah Davidson, another daughter, was gifted 
with more than ordinary talents; she was well educated 
and admired for her mental attainments, especially in music. 
She taught music for a number of years, and gave such 
satisfaction that she held a high place as a teacher of music 
in the opinions of eminent people. He left one son, Wil- 
liam, who was not equal to his father, either mentally or 
physically, yet he was in the Legislature, a lawyer, and 
later in life a Justice of the Peace, who did a great deal of 
business. All the older members oif the family have passed 
away, and but few people now living in the county have any 
knowledge of the Davidson family. Something more than 
half a century ago the Davidson family lived in a large 
frame building on the southwest corner of Trade and Tryon 
streets, now occupied by Burwell & Dunn's drug store. All 
that property — the entire front on Trade street down to 
Church street, has long ago changed owners, and is now 
busy with a rushing trade. 



Governor Nathaniel Alexander. 

Of all the eminent men raised or lived in Mecklenburg 
county, but two were ever elevated to the executive chair. 
Z. B. Vance, the pet of the State, when the man with the 
iron heel had the State by the throat in 1876, was elected 
Governor. At this juncture the State was drawn from the 
clutches of those who were thriving upon her downfall and 
humiliation. 

Gov. Nathaniel Alexander was a native of Mecklenburg. 
He was a physician by profession, but there is no evidence 
that he ever practiced. He appears to have been politically 
inclined, for he was elected a member of the House of Com- 
mons in 1797; a member of the Senate in 1801, and re- 
elected in 1802. In 1803 to 1805 he was a member of Con- 
gress, and he was in 1805 elected Governor of the State. 
He served but one term, and there is no evidence that he 
ever courted popular favor after this. He married a 
daughter of Col. Thomas Polk, of more than ordinary fame 
in Mecklenburg county. He left no children — neither son 
or daughter — to inherit his name, or to keep his fame fresh 
as it passes down the stream of time. He was a man of 
much personal worth and respectable talents. He died and 
was buried in the old cemetery in Charlotte. 

Gov. Nathaniel Alexander was one of five sons of the« 
famous Moses Alexander. Gov. Alexander had a brother, 
William Alexander, who married Elizabeth Henderson. 

From such a parentage, we are not surprised that Gov. 
Alexander should have been the peoples' choice for Chief 
Magistrate, as Gov. Vance was in 1876, when the people 
did not know which way to turn to preserve our liberty, or 
escape a doom that was worse than Poland at its last over- 
throw in 1790. "Man's inhumanity to man has caused 
countless thousands to mourn." 



Maj. Green W. Caldwell. 

Maj. Green W. Caldwell, long a resident of Charlotte, 
but not a native, was born in Gaston, or rather Lincoln 
county, near Tuckasege Ford, on the Catawba river, the 
13th of April, 181 1. We have no knowledge of his early 
education, but he studied medicine with Dr. Doherty near 
Beattie's Ford, and practiced with success. But, becoming 
dissatisfied with the early choice of professions, he aban- 
doned it for that of the law. At about this time he moved 
to Charlotte. In 1836 h* was elected a member of the 
House of Commons, and was re-elected in i838-'39 and 
1840, and in 1841 he wi-s elected to Congress, where he 
served but one term. H:s practice of law was eminently 
satisfactory. In 1844 ht was appointed superintendent of 
the mint in Charlotte, in 1846 he was the unanimous 
choice of his party (Democratic) for Governor, but this he 
declined. When the war with Mexico* was declared, he at 
once resigned his appointment of superintendent of the 
mint, and volunteered for the war. He secured the ap- 
pointment of captain of a company of dragoons, with E. C. 
Davidson, J. K. Harrison and Alfred A. Norman as lieuten- 
ants. This was a new experience for the men ; but South- 
ern patriotism is the ruling passion with our young men. 
A company of young men was soon formed, and they were 
soon off "for the wars again," with high hopes and bright 
anticipations. 

The company did not see much fighting, and when the 
war was over, the most of them returned, and when the 
South had to defend what their fathers won in the revolu- 
tion more than seventy-five years before, they entered the 
Confederate army, where they found real war. To-day 
there are exceeding few to tell the tales they heard in the 
capital of the Montezumas. Sergt. D. C. Robinson is the 
only one of the old guard now living in Charlotte who fol- 



*•> r* t* T "'i 



IOO HISTORY OF 

lowed Maj. Caldwell to Mexico. In 1849 he was elected 
to the Senate, with two of his officers in the lower house, 
viz., Davidson and Harrison. In a progressive country 
like ours, how soon are the acts of the foremost citizens for- 
gotten. 

THE OPINION OF THE LADIES. 

The following paragraph was found in the South Caro- 
lina and American Gacelte, from the 2nd to the 9th of Feb- 
ruary, 1776: 

"The young ladies of the best families of Mecklenburg 
county, North Carolina, have entered into a voluntary asso- 
ciation that they will not receive the address of any young 
gentleman of that place except the brave volunteers who 
served in the expedition to South Carolina and assisted in 
subduing the Scovalite insurgents. The ladies being of 
the opinion that such persons as stay loitering at home when 
the important calls of the country demand their military 
services abroad, must certainly be destitute of that nobleness 
of sentiment, that brave, manly spirit which would qualify 
them to be defenders and guardians of the fair sex. The 
ladies of the adjoining county of Rowan have desired the 
plan of a similar association to be drawn up and prepared 
for signature. 



>> 



Matthew Wallace and George Walla.ce. 

George Wallace, his mother and two maiden aunts, and 
three orphan children, (their father, John, having died in 
Ireland, their mother had been raised up in the Roman Cath- 
olic faith, remained in Ireland), came over to America and 
landed in Philadelphia in 1784. The widow appears to 
have been willing for her children to cross the ocean in pur- 
suit of a better country, and she married a second time in the 
old country. Matthew Wallace, who was a brother of George, 
came across the ocean with his wife and! six children, and 
landed in Charleston, S. C, in 1789. They had one child 
born after they came to this country. We are not informed 
how the two families came to> meet in Mecklenburg, when 
George came by the way of Charleston in 1784, and Mat- 
thew by the way of Philadelphia in 1789. But whether by 
chance or by appointment, they agreed to settle in the fertile 
region that is watered by the streams that help make Mc- 
Cofnn's Creek. They came over to this country immedi- 
ately after the Revolutionary war, when the country was 
wild, the untamed savage still roamed in the great forests 
and over the prairies, where the buffalo was still seen, and 
the deer was a frequent visitor in sight of the emigrant's 
cabin. 

One of the noted men of the times was Matthew — 
"Shacklen" was his nick-name. He was a son o<f Alexan- 
der, a brother of old Matthew ("Wheelright Jimmy") Wal- 
lace, who was known far and near by his occupation, who 
was a son of George Wallace. Boston Wallace, who died in 
1897, was a man of fine sense, had no hesitation in express- 
ing his opinion on any subject with which he was acquainted 
without regard to whom it affected. He was a bold, blunt 
man; was a prohibitionist from principle, and could not toler- 
ate a manwho would run "fast and loose," or who could court 
favor by sacrificing principle. He was a son of Alexander 



102 HISTORY OF 

Wallace. The Wallace family were fond of perpetuating 
the names of their ancestors. Mr. "Bob" Wallace, of East- 
field, is a son of Matthew Wallace, who was a son of John, 
who came across the ocean in childhood. 

EXTRACT FROM THE WRITINGS OF ALEXANDER WALLACE. 

"The old set of Wallaces first emigrated from Scotland 
to Ireland, and from Ireland to America just at the winding 
up of the Revolutionary war. The first set came in 1784, 
and the next set in 1789. It was said by the old set that 
they left none of their relations of the name of Wallace in 
Ireland. 

"Jane Alexander was the name of my great-grandmother, 
which was the great-grandmother of my little boy, William 
Alexander Wallace; and she was buried at Sugar Creek 
church, with all her children, except my grandfather, Mat- 
thew, and he is lying at Sardis church. Matthew was the 
name of my great-grandfather. He was buried in Ireland. 
The tall, the wise, the reverend head, must lie as low as 
ours." Alex Wallace. 

"Jane Alexander was the maiden name of my great-grand- 
mother, who married Matthew Wallace, who was the father 
of the first named Matthew Wallace. Catherine Sullevan 
was the maiden name of my great-grandmother, who mar- 
ried Alexander, or John Wallace — not certain which name. 
She was the mother of Margaret, Robert and Alexander. 
She was left in Ireland; her husband lived there. This was 
after the Wallaces brought her children to America. The 
old 'set' brought their certificate of church membership 
with them. They were Psalm singing Presbyterians, and 
their descendants to the present day still hold to only the 
singing of Psalms." 

The Wallaces are amongst our best people, but the men 
were not noted for their piety, but were noted for energy 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. IO3 

and thrift. All were in easy circumstances, and were noted 
for their liberality, for being first-class farmers, and several 
of them became very wealthy. During" the war between the 
States, they acted the part of patriots. Mr. William Wal- 
lace, a grand-son of Matthew Wallace, was amongst the 
finest looking men in Lee's army, and he made a splendid 
reputation as a cavalry fighter; and, like many of our best 
men, his body was left on the field. They were a family of 
large people, many of them were very fleshy — not unusual 
to weigh 250 pounds. 

It was common to distinguish the different members of 
the Wallace family who were called Matthew by giving 
them a nick-name, "Shacklen" Matthew, "Bachelor" Mat- 
thew, "Devil" Matthew, etc. "Devil" Matthew was a very 
powerful man, and was selected in 1845 to g'uard the mint. 
At that time there were but three mints in the United States, 
and consequently the mint was looked upon as a place of 
much more importance then as money was coined here, 
than it is now, as only an assay office. Fortunately nothing 
occurred while guarding the mint to test his metal, or we 
might have quite a racy story to write. 



Ada.m Alexander. 

Adam Alexander, one of the signers of the Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence and still further known to his- 
tory for his military services, was born in Pennsylvania 
September 28, 1728, of Scotch-Irish parents. 

He married Mary Shelby, of Holston county, Maryland, 
of a family which gave to the cause of independence in the 
war of the Revolution the names of Gen. Evan Shelby and 
of Col. Isaac Shelby, one of the heroes of the battle of 
King's Mountain, and afterwards the first governor of Ken- 
tucky. 

About 1 750, when many settlements of Scotch-Irish Pres- 
byterians were being made in North and South Carolina, the 
Alexanders came to Mecklenburg county. There were sev- 
eral branches of the family. Adam Alexander settled in 
that section of the county now known as Clear Creek. He 
and his family were members of the old Rock Spring Pres- 
byterian church, where before the Revolution a pious con- 
gregation worshipped, mingled with their devotions prayer- 
ful appeals for the final deliverance of their country from 
the approaching conflict of arms in a righteous cause. 

On December 18, 1775, Adam Alexander was, by the 
Provincial Congress, held at Johnston Court House, ap- 
pointed Lieutenant-Colonel of a battalion of minute men, 
with Thomas Polk as Colonel and Charles McLean as 
Major. In the latter part of May of the same year, and at 
the suggestion of Colonel Polk, two delegates from each of 
the companies of the county militia met at Charlotte with 
power to take such action as might seem advantageous to 
the colonies. The name of the subject of this sketch ap- 
pears in the list of those patriots who drew up and signed 
the resolutions which constitute the famous Mecklenburg 
Declaration of Independence. 

During the rebellion of the regulators, he, with other 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. IO5 

officers, were ordered to bring their troops to join Gov. 
Tryon in Orange, now Guilford county; but finding 
their men so averse to fighting against their brother colo- 
nists, they sent the following letter to the Governor: 

Gen Waddell's Camp, 
Pott's Creek, ioth May, 1771. 

By a council of officers of the Western Detachment : Con- 
sidering the great superiority of the insurgents in num- 
bers and the resolution of great part of their own men not 
to fight, it was resolved that they retreat across the Yadkin. 
Wm. Lindsay, Robert Shaw, 

Adam Alexander, Grieeith Rutherford, 

Thomas Neel, Samuel Spencer, 

Fr. Ross, Robert Harris, 

Samuel Snead. 

On the 4th of April, 1776, he was appointed Colonel of 
Mecklenburg county by the Provincial Congress held at Hal- 
ifax. He was a brave and energetic officer and his name 
is found in nearly every expedition which marched from 
Mecklenburg county to oppose the enemies of his country. 

He was for many years before and after the war an acting 
Justice of the Peace. His name is frequently seen in records 
of church as well as of State, and tradition speaks of him as 
bearing an excellent character. 

A stone marking his grave beside that of his wife in the 
old Rock Spring graveyard bears this inscription, appro- 
priate to his life and character as a patriot and soldier: 
"Colonel Adam Alexander, who departed this life November 
I 3> l 79&i aged 70 years 7 months. The last enemy that 
shall be destroyed is death." 

Adam Alexander had six children, three sons and three 
daughters — Evan Shelby, Isaac, Charles Taylor, Sarah and 
Mary. 

His eldest son, Evan Shelby, was a graduate of Princeton 
in 1787, a lawyer and a member of the Ninth Congress from 



ic6 HISTORY OF 

Salisbury District (1805-' 09), vice Nathaniel Alexander 
elected governor. He died in 1809, comparatively young 
and unmarried. The other sons, Isaac and Charles Taylor, 
have descendants now living in this county, some of whom 
bear the name of Erwin. 

Of the daughters, the eldest, Sarah, married Captain John 
Springs and has many descendants, chiefly through her 
daughter, Alary A., who married her cousin, John Springs, 
a son of Captain Richard Springs, of York county, South 
Carolina. She has descendants also through her son, Wil- 
liam Polk Springs, who married another cousin, Margaret 
Springs. 

Some of the descendants of Adam Alexander now living 
in this section, besides those bearing the names of Alexan- 
der, Springs and Erwin, are of the families of Colonel Wil- 
liam R. Myers, Colonel A. B. Davidson, Rev. Dr. Samuel 
Pharr and Dr. Charles Harris. 

References : Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Hun- 
ter's Sketches of Western North Carolina, Family Record. 

—Contributed by Miss Sophy Myers. 



Humphrey Hvinter. 

But few persons in North Carolina have deserved more 
of their country than Humphrey Hunter, in his youth or 
his young - manhood, or in his maturer years. No one is 
more deserving of a page in history, as one who contended 
for the freedom of his country, or as a preacher of right- 
eousness. He was born on the 14th of May, 1755, in the 
vicinity of Londonderry, in the North of Ireland, the native 
place of his father. His paternal grandmother was from 
Glasgow, Scotland, and his maternal grand-father from 
Brest, in France. The blood of the Scotch and the Hugue- 
not was blended in Ireland, and the descendant emigrated 
to America and flourished in the soil of Carolina. 

Deprived by death of his father in his fourth year, young 
Hunter embarked at Londonderry with his widowed mother 
for Charleston, S. C, on the 3rd of May, 1759, on board the 
ship Helena. Arriving on the 27th of August, the family 
in a few days proceeded to Mecklenburg county, North 
Carolina, where the mother purchased land in the Poplar 
Tent congregation, and remained for life. As the enjoy- 
ment of civil and religious liberty was one of the principal 
causes of his mothers emigration, it is not wonderful that 
young Hunter grew up with a spirit jealous of encroach- 
ment from the English crown. 

From the time of his reaching Mecklenburg till his twen- 
tieth year, little is known of him. We are left to the con- 
jecture that he grew up familiar with all the labors and 
privations of a frontier life, by which he became fitted to 
endure the fatigues and sufferings of a military expedition. 
He attended the convention in Charlotte May 20, 1775, as 
one of the numerous crowd of spectators assembled on that 
exciting occasion. In his account of the meeting prefixed 
to his copy of the Declaration of Independence, he thus 
writes concerning the battle of Lexington, which took place 
on the 19th of April : 

"That was a wound of a deepening, gangrenous nature. 



108 HISTORY OE 

not to be healed without amputation. Intelligence of the 
affair speedily spread abroad, yea flew, as if on the wings of 
the wind collecting- a storm. No sooner had it reached 
Mecklenburg than an ardent, patriotic fire glowed almost in 
every breast; it was not to be confined; it burst into a flame; 
it blazed through every corner of the county. Communica- 
tions from one to another were made with great facility. 
Committees were held in various neighborhoods ; every man 
was a politician. Death rather than slavery, was the voice 
comparatively of all." 

Soon after the Declaration of Independence, a regiment 
was raised in Mecklenburg, under Col. Thomas Polk, and 
Col. Adam Alexander, to march against some Tories who 
were embodied in the lower part of the State. Mr. Hunter 
went as a private in the company of Capt. Charles Polk, 
nephew of Col. Thomas Polk. The Tories dispersed at the 
approach of this force, and the regiment speedily returned 
without bloodshed or violence. 

Mr. Hunter then commenced his classical education at 
Clio Nursery (now Iredell), under the instruction of Rev. 
James Hall. The following certificates, preserved by Mr. 
Hunter, show the order of the congregation, and the care 
with which the morals of the youth were watched over by 
church officers and instructors in schools. The first appears 
to have been required for his honorable standing at Clio's 
Nursery : 

"This is to certify that the bearer, Humphrey Hunter, has 
lived in the bounds of this congregation upwards of four 
years, and has behaved himself inoffensively, not being 
guilty of any immoral conduct known to us, exposing him 
to church censure, and is free from public scandal. 

"Given under our hands at Poplar Tent this 18th day of 
October, 1778. 

"James Alexander, 
"J. Ross, 
"Robert Harris, 

"Ruling Elders." 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. IOO, 

When General Rutherford collected a. brigade from 
Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Guilford counties to repel the 
aggressions of the Cherokee Indians, Mr. Hunter received 
a commission of lieutenant under Capt. Robt. Mayben, in 
one of the three companies of cavalry that formed part of 
the corps. The campaign was successful, the Indian forces 
were scattered, and their chiefs taken. After this cam- 
paign, Mr. Hunter resumed his classical studies at Queen's 
Museum in Charlotte, under the care of Dr. McWhirter, who 
had removed from New Jersey to take charge of that insti- 
tution, with flattering prospects. Of the moral and reli- 
gious character of the young man, the following certificate 
in the handwriting of his instructor is testimony, viz. : That 
the bearer, Humphrey Hunter, has continued a student in 
Clio's Nursery from August, 1778, till last October; that 
he applied to his studies with diligence; was admitted to 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in Bethany congrega- 
tion; has during the aforesaid time conducted himself as 
a good member both of religious and civil society, and is 
hereby well recommended to the regard of any Christian 
community where Divine Providence may order his lot — is 
certified by James Hall, V. D. M., Bethany, January 12, 
1780. 

In the summer of 1780, Liberty Hall Academy, or 
Queen's Museum, as it was originally named, was broken 
up by the approach of the British army under Lord Corn- 
wallis, after the surrender of Charleston, and the massacre 
of Buford's regiment on the Waxhaw, and the course of 
study was never resumed under the direction of Dr. McWhir- 
ter, who returned to New Jersey. Upon the breaking up of 
the college, the young students were commended to their 
parents and guardians, and the older were urged to take 
the field in the cause of their country. It is not to be sup- 
posed that young Hunter required much urging to take up 
arms with his fellow citizens of Mecklenburg, who five years 
before had pledged "their lives and their honor." Upon 
the orders of Gen. Rutherford to the battalions of the west- 



HO HISTORY OF 

ern counties of the State, a brigade assembled at Salisbury. 
For the first three weeks Mr. Hunter acted as commissary, 
and afterwards as lieutenant in the company of Capt. 
/ Thomas Givens. Having scoured the Tory settlement on 
the northeast side of the Yadkin, the forces under Gen. 
Rutherford joined the army of Gen. Gates at Cheraw. On 
the morning of the 16th of August, the unfortunate battle 
of Camden took place by the mutual surprise of the march- 
ing armies; and the forces under Gates were completely 
routed. Gen. Rutherford was wounded and taken prisoner 
with many of his men. Mr. Hunter, soon after his surren- 
der as prisoner of war, witnessed the death of the Baron 
de Kalb. He tells us he saw the baron, with suite or aide, 
and apparently separated from his command, ride facing the 
enemy. The British soldiers clapping their hands on their 
shoulders, in reference to his epaulettes, shouted, "A gen- 
eral, a rebel general." Immediately a man on horseback 
( not Tarleton) met him and demanded his sword. The 
baron, with apparent reluctance, presented the hilt, but 
drawing back, said in French, "Are you an officer, sir?" 
His antagonist, perhaps not understanding his question, 
with an oath, more sternly demanded his sword. The baron 
dashed from him, disdaining, as is supposed, to surrender 
to any but an officer, and rode in front of the British line, 
with his hand extended. The cry along the line of "A rebel 
general," was speedily followed by a volley, and after riding 
some twenty or thirty yards, the baron fell. He was im- 
mediately raised to his feet, stripped of his hat, coat, and 
neck-cloth, and placed with his hands resting on the end of 
a wagon. His body had been pierced with seven balls. 
While standing in this situation, the blood streaming 
through his shirt, Cornwallis, with his suit, rode up, and 
being told that the wounded man was DeKalb, he ad- 
dressed him: "I am sorry, sir, to .see you; not sorry that 
you are vanquished, but that you are so severely wounded." 
Having given orders to an officer to administer to the neces- 
sities of the wounded man as far as possible, the British gen- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 1 1 

eral rode on to secure the victory, and in a little time the 
brave and generous DeKalb, who had seen service in the 
armies of France, and had embarked in the cause of the 
American States, breathed his last. 

After seven days confinement in a prison yard in Cam- 
den, Mr. Hunter was taken, with about fifty officers, to 
Orangeburg, S. C, where he remained without hat or coat, 
until Friday, the 13th of November, about three months 
from the time of his captivity. On that day he went to 
visit a friendly lady who had promised him a homespun 
coat. On his way he was met by a horseman of Col. Fish- 
er's command, who accused him of being beyond the lines, 
and sternly ordered him back to the station, threatening 
him with confinement and trial for breach of his parole. 
Hunter explained and apologized, and promised, but all to 
no purpose. "To the station," "Take the road," Up the 
road went the rebel Whig, sour and reluctant, and made 
indignant by the frequent goading with the point of the 
Tory royalist's sword. Passing a large fallen pine, from 
which the limbs had been burned, he suddenly leaped the 
trunk. The horseman fired one of his pistols, missing his 
aim, and leaped his horse after him. Hunter adroitly leaped 
the other side the trunk, and began throwing at the horse- 
man the pine knots that lay thick around. The second pis- 
tol was discharged, but without effect. By a blow of a 
well directed pine knot, the horseman was brought to the 
ground, and disarmed by his prisoner. Hunter returned 
the Tory his sword on condition that he should never, on 
any condition, make known that any of the prisoners had 
crossed the forbidden line, or any way transgressed, promis- 
ing himself to keep the whole matter of the late encounter 
an inviolable secret. 

On the following Sabbath a citation was issued by Col. 
Fisher, directing all militia prisoners to appear at the court 
house by 12 o'clock on Monday. The affair had been dis- 
covered. During the contest the horse galloped off to the 
station with the saddle and holsters empty, and when the 



112 HISTORY OF 

dismounted rider appeared a little time afterward with the 
bruises of the pine knots too visible to be denied, the curious 
inquiries that followed baffled all his efforts to concealment. 
It was soon noised abroad that one or more of the prisoners 
had broken parole and attacked an officer. The report 
reaching the colonel's ears, the order was issued for their 
appearance at the court house. On Sabbath night Hunter and 
a few others, expecting close confinement would follow 
their assembling on Monday noon, seized and disarmed the 
guard and escaped. He was nine nights in making his 
way back to Mecklenburg, lying by during the day to avoid 
the patrols of the British, and sustaining himself upon the 
greenest of the ears of corn he could gather from the un- 
harvested fields. 

In a few days after his return home, he again joined the 
army, and became a Lieutenant of cavalry under Col. Henry 
Hampton, and attached to the regiment under Col. Henry 
Lee, received a wound in the battle at Eutaw Springs, where 
so much personal bravery was displayed. His military 
services closed with that campaign, and he returned home 
with a good name, his bravery unquestioned and his integ- 
rity unsullied. 

He resumed his classical studies at the school taught by 
Rev. Robert Archibald, near Poplar Tent, as appears by 
the following certificate in the irregular hand and crooked 
lines of his preceptor, which is the only evidence at hand of 
the classical school in that congregation immediately after 
the war: 

"Mecklenburg, N. C, . 

"This is to certify that the bearer, Humphrey Hunter, 
has been some years at this school in the capacity of a stu- 
dent, and during the term has conducted himself in a sober, 
genteel and Christian manner; and we recommend him as 
a youth of good character, to any public seminary where 
Divine Providence may cast his lot. Certified and signed 
by order of the trustees, this 3d day of November, 1785. 

"Robert Archibald, V. B. M." 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. II3 

A college diploma from Mount Zion College, at Winnes- 
boro, S. C, 1785, accredits him with a good preparation to 
enter upon the study o<f the ministry, which he had in view 
for several years, but was more or less interrupted by the 
war. Having pursued the study of theology about two 
years under the Presbytery of South Carolina, he received 
license to preach the Gospel in the following words, viz. : 

"The Presbytery having examined Mr. Humphrey Hun- 
ter on the Latin and Greek languages, the sciences and 
divinity, and being well satisfied with his moral and reli- 
gious character, and his knowledge of the languages, 
sciences, and divinity, do license him to preach the everlast- 
ing Gospel of Jesus Christ; and affectionately recommend 
him to our vacancies. 

"James Edmunds, Moderator. 
"Robert Hall, Presbt. Clerk. 

"Bullock's Creek, Oct. 15, 1789." 

For the first fifteen years of his ministry he preached in 
a number of places in York District, S. C, also in Lincoln 
county. In 1805 he settled in Steele Creek, and there he re- 
mained till the year of his death, 1827. Here he was buried 
with the people, among whom he had labored for more than 
twenty years. His tombstone bears the following inscrip- 
tion : 

"Sacred to the memory of Rev. Humphrey Hunter, who 
departed this life August 27, 1827, in the 73d year of his age. 
He was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to America at an 
early period of his life. He was one of those who early pro- 
moted the cause of freedom in Mecklenburg county May 
20, 1775, and subsequently bore an active part in securing 
the independence of his country. 

"For nearly thirty-eight years he labored as a faithful and 
assiduous ambassador of Christ, strenuously enforcing the 
necessity of repentance, and pointing out the terms of sal- 
vation. As a parent he was kind and affectionate; as a. 



H4 HISTORY OF 

friend, warm and sincere, and as a minister, persuasive and 
convincing. Reared by the people of Steele Creek Church." 

He had certainly deserved well of his country, and it not 
only was proper, but highly creditable to the citizens of 
Mecklenburg to keep his memory always green for what he 
did for his country one hundred years ago. 

In his preaching he was earnest, unassuming, and often 
eloquent. Possessing a strong mind with powers of origi- 
nality, and trained by the discipline of a classical education 
under men capable of producing scholars, he consecrated all 
his talents and acquirements to preach the everlasting Gos- 
pel, counting all things but loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus. He possessed in a high degree 
a talent for refined sarcasm; and his answer to trifles with 
his office or the great truths of religion, and sticklers for un- 
important things was a shaft from this quiver that pierced 
to the marrow. His benevolence as a minister, and his ten- 
derness as a neighbor forbade its use in his social inter- 
course. Honest objections and difficulties arising from 
want of knowledge or proper reflection, he would meet 
kindly with truth and argument; sophistry and cavils he 

■considered as deserving nothing but the lash which he knew 
how to apply till it stung like a scorpion. He was a just 
man. The mould in which he was cast, that peculiarly be- 
longed to men of that period, is now obsolete, and we rarely 

. see one who approaches it. 



Hopewell Church and Gra.veya.rd. 

Among the earliest settlements in the western part of 
North Carolina, is Hopewell Church. For many months 
before a building was erected for a place of worship, the 
people would assemble at or near this place to discuss mat- 
ters pertaining to the welfare of the country, as well as to 
bold religious services, as they could get a supply from some 
passing missionary. The first church was built in the year 
1765, ten miles northwest of Charlotte, and two miles east 
of the Catawba river. The first house was built of logs, and 
shaded on all sides, so as to be comfortable for women who 
had young children to look after without disturbing the con- 
gregation; also to entertain large crowds who at that time 
thought it no hardship to ride horseback ten to fifteen miles 
to church. 

In 1830, or thereabout, a very handsome brick house took 
the place of the first, and about i860 it was enlarged and 
capacious galleries were added. The old graveyard is full 
of historic interest. 

Rev. John Williamson was pastor of Hopewell from 1818 
to 1842. His wife sleeps beside him. They were worthy 
people. As far as it is known, he was the only minister 
who has ever been buried here. Hopewell has always been 
blessed with preachers well equipped for their work, and 
gave general satisfaction. 

The Hopewell section was thinly populated in 1750, by 
people moving from Pennsylvania and Maryland hunting' a 
congenial climate to build their home. Richard Barry is 
said to have moved here many years preceding the Revo- 
lutionary war; but we are told that he was 55 years old when 
he participated in the battle of Cowan's Ford; that he and 
his friend, David Wilson, carried the body of Gen. W. L. 
Davidson, who was killed February 1, 1781, and prepared it 
for burial in Hopewell graveyard. In this spot it has ever 



Il6 HISTORY OF 

rested, without a marble shaft or even an humble stone, to 
mark the spot where one of the noted patriots of Meck- 
lenburg is buried, who gave his life for the freedom of 
America. It is a shame that the United States, the richest 
and most powerful nation on the face of the earth, who pays 
its most ordinary officers from one thousand to fifty thou- 
sand dollars a year, and not contribute one dollar to mark 
the graves of Gen. Davidson and Gen. Nash. A bill was 
recently introduced in Congress to erect a monument over 
each of their graves to cost $5,000 a piece, which was de- 
feated. If they had been from the New England States, 
government appropriations would have been made, that 
every school boy or girl would have been familiar with 
their military powers. 

A noted character of the Revolutionary days was Capt. 
Francis Bradly, a true patriot, who took an active part in 
the skirmish o>f Mclntyre's Branch and was murdered No- 
vember 14, 1780, by a small band of Tories. Physically he 
was said to be the strongest man in the county. 

Here also is the grave of John McKnitt Alexander, the 
secretary of the noted convention that met on the 20th of 
May, 1775, and made the first and the most defiant Declar- 
ation of Independence that ever was thrown to the breeze in 
America, or in the world. Around his grave are a host of 
his posterity. His two sons, Dr. Joseph McKnitt, and Wil- 
liam Bane Alexander, and one sister, Rev. Mrs. S. C. Cald- 
well, and a great congregation of their descendants. In 
the fourth generation from the old secretary, we see the 
name of Capt. Francis Ramsay Alexander, a great-grand- 
son of John McKnitt Alexander — killed in front of Peters- 
burg, Va., in one of the terrific battles in June, 1864. We 
see here another evidence that the patriots of 1775 would 
leave indelible impress of patriotism through many genera- 
tions. Blood will tell. The most numerous persons are of 
the name of Alexander in this city of the dead. Now but 
comparatively few of the old family of Alexanders are in the 
settlement. They have moved to other sections, and Strang- 



meckxenburg county. 117 

ers have moved in. The Barrys have all gone; the David- 
sons and Torranees, and Sam Wilson's posterity are fast 
disappearing; and their lands have passed into hands of 
strangers. All the great forests have been cleared up, "the 
cattle Upon a thousand hills" have disappeared ; the fish that 
stocked every creek and branch in great abundance, are no 
longer to be seen ; and the deer and wild turkey that were in 
former years so plentiful, now only exist in stories of a 
past age. The whole face of the country has been changed 
within the memory of an average life time. Here lived 
Maj. John Davidson, a signer of the immortal document, 
the Declaration of Independence. He was in a number of 
engagements with the British and Tories. In after life he 
went into the iron business with his son-in-law, Capt. Bre- 
vard. From this neighborhood came Gen. Joseph Graham, 
who was present in Charlotte on the 20th of May, 1775, and 
testified as to the truth of the Declaration of Independence. 
After he gallantly served in the war of Independence, he be- 
came the sheriff of Mecklenburg county. His brother, 
Gen. George Graham, was a true patriot. He came from 
Pennsylvania in 1764. He was educated in Charlotte at 
Queen's College, and in 1775 he and a few others rode all 
night to Salisbury, seized the Tory lawyers, Dunn and 
Booth, brought them to Mecklenburg, thence they were car- 
ried to Camden and imprisoned. 

When Lord Cornwallis lay in Charlotte (1780), Gen. 
George Graham was very active in attacking his foraging 
parties. He was one of the band of twelve who forced the 
British, who had four hundred in their foraging party, to 
flee in such haste that they reported to their commander 
"there was a rebel behind every bush." He was a Major- 
General of militia of North Carolina. For many years he 
was clerk of the court of the county, and was frequently a 
member of the Legislature. He died in 1826, and was 
buried in the old grave yard in Charlotte. 



T5he Pa^rt Mecklenburg Took in the War With 

Mexico. 

North Carolina furnished one regiment of infantry only, 
to prosecute the war with Mexico, but Mecklenburg - took no 
part in the formation of the regiment. The county raised a 
company of Light Horse, Capt. A. J. Harrison and Lieut. 
E. C. Davidson being commissioned to organize a company 
of Dragoons. When the company was full, they went to 
Charleston, S. C, and were conveyed by transports to Vera 
Cruz. They were in no such battles as we had in Virginia 
in i86i-'65, but did much service in guarding wagon trains 
and skirmishing with the enemy. The company returned 
home, having performed their duty, and were honored by 
the people at home and the officers honored with seats in the 
State Legislature. 



Banks and Banking. 

Independence was declared for fifty years before a bank 
was ever opened in Charlotte to transact business; prob- 
ably it was not needed at an earlier period. In the earlier 
years of the century, except in seaport towns, there was 
comparatively but little money in circulation, and but little 
trade was effected. The first in Charlotte was a branch of 
the State Bank in 1834. It did some business, in a general 
way, but issued no bills less than $3.00. Each State issued 
bills for its own use, but nearly all were discounted more or 
less. South Carolina money commanded a higher premium 
than most any other State. 

In 1853, the Bank of Charlotte started to do business, 
and had a fine beginning. Henry B. Williams was presi- 
dent, with YVm. Lucas cashier. Some changes were made 
afterwards and all monied institutions went up when the 
Confederacy fell. We were then poor indeed ; no banks, or 
money deposited of any kind. Those who had been our 
richest men and were able to help those who were not so 
fortunate, were now on a par with our poorest. 

In the course of a few years our people seemed to take on 
new life; farm produce commanded good prices, and if the 
Yankees had not molested our people, we would have seen 
better times. 

Tate & Dewey's Bank started to do a considerable busi- 
ness, put out bills with a free hand, and the people encour- 
aged the bank by depositing there all their surplus. Its 
career was short. Mr. Dewey died and the bank collapsed ; 
no assets of any consequence were left; many people lost 
heavily; the bubble burst and a nine-days' wonder was all 
that was left. 



Some of the Prominent Citizens in the First 
Ha.lf of the Nineteenth Century. 

About the year 1830, Chevalier de Riva Finola, an Italian 
nobleman, was sent here as the president of a mining com- 
pany. He was an expert as a mining engineer, but we are 
at a loss to know how long his stay was protracted, or what 
success he had. Probably not a dozen men in the county 
have ever heard his name. While here he lived in the 
house that was afterwards occupied by Joseph Wilson, the 
great lawyer and solicitor, and for many years by W. J. 
Yates, the well-known editor of The Charlotte Democrat. 
Recently the house has been moved back on West Morehead 
street. Seventy years ago an Italian of royal blood lived 
in Charlotte, and employed a mulatto barber by the name 
of Paulidon Brickett, to shave and dress his hair every 
morning. So the plain people of Mecklenburg had a live 
prince among them, who moved about in European fashion. 

Humphrey, Titus and Edward Bizzell moved to this 
county probably somewhat later; but Edward Bizzell was 
mayor of the town for a short time just after the war. They 
were natives of New York. They came as mining experts, 
and were very liberal in spending money for the company. 
They got possession of several large tracts of land, but did 
not have good titles. What is known as Bizzell's Mill, was 
one of their places. This mill was in operation before the 
Revolutionary war, and is where Lord Cornwallis got his 
grinding done during his short stay in Charlotte. They 
have gone the way of the world without leaving any posterity 
to perpetuate the name. In company with them came a 
man named Penman. He was a native born Englishman, 
stood well with the nobility, and was sent over here to take 
charge of some gold mines that were supposed to be very 
rich, and some of them sustained the character for half a 
century that was given them ; but probably more money was 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 121 

spent in developing- them than they ever yielded their 
owners. 

Penman was a large, red-faced, typical Englishman, and 
was used to being waited upon. He brought his body ser- 
vant with him, a man by the name of Goodluck. Every 
morning the servant would groom his master with as much 
care as our former slaves would our race horses ; then saddle 
his master's horse and mount his own, riding a respectful 
distance behind, but near enough to take his master's horse 
the moment he would light. This was the usual pro- 
gramme. At any rate, this kind of service was kept up for 
several months. Wherever Penman would turn, Goodluck 
would have to be on hand to obey every behest. 

Mr. David Henderson, a near neighbor, suggested to 
Goodluck that he was as free as Penman, and he was not 
obliged to wait on him ; in fact, he advised him not to make 
himself a "nigger" for any man. Goodluck at once quit 
his employer. James P. Henderson — a distant relative of 
David Henderson — thought he knew a good thing when he 
saw it, immediately applied for the vacant place and was 
accepted, and was duly inducted into the office of 'Squire for 
the Knight of the Golden Dream around Charlotte. This 
was an era of gold hunting that has only been rivaled once 
in fifty years. James P. Henderson was not ashamed to 
work for money in a legitimate way. This service lasted but 
a short time. He married a woman of brilliant mental at- 
tainments — a daughter of Dr. Matthew Wallace — raised 
four children far above the average in mental acumen. 

Capt. Penman had an associate or fellow helper, by the 
name of Penworthy, in his mining operations. They were 
a lively pair, and spent their money most lavishly, not to see 
bow much good they could do, but to see how good a time 
they could have. It has always been the same old story, 
that every dollar made by mining, it cost ten dollars to 
get it. 

About 1845, Capt. Penman abandoned mining and set his 
face towards the ministry, after being converted to the 



122 HISTORY OF 

Methodist faith. He then became a preacher — a winner of 
souls for the Kingdom of Christ. In the latter part of his 
life he behaved very civilly and did not need so much wait- 
ing on. The two women who lived with him, and whom 
he passed off as his sisters, are now forgotten, "having 
neither name nor place" to let those who come after know 
that they ever occupied a place in the county. Mining for 
gold was carried on very extensively in the first twenty-five 
years of the century, but their methods were very crude, and 
unsatisfactory. Costly machinery was not put in the shafts, 
as the time for heavy expense had not arrived, for when a 
profit was not yielded directly, it was considered that much 
was lost. 



J5he Champions of the Northern and Southern 
Parts of the County. 

In tlie first part of the century it was the custom of the 
times for each section of the county to have one man who 
was noted as the champion, or "bully," of his precinct. 
At a general muster of the county, in which both the in- 
fantry and cavalry participated, in the presence of an im- 
mense crowd, in the year 1835, just east of the present site 
of the Episcopal Orphanage, met the two "best men," or 
champions of the county. The sporting characters were 
not long in spotting their game. Arrangements were soon 
made for "Devil" Matthew Wallace and Frank Nealy to 
fight till one or the other hollered out "enough." A ring 
was quickly made, the combatants stripped to the waist, 
judges were appointed to see that no foul play was taken 
by either side. It was then announced that the fight would 
begin at the signal. In a twinkling, the time-honored gen- 
eral muster came to a close, every man seemed to break 
ranks on his own authority and a grand rush was made for 
the arena of the athletes, where two modern Hercules were 
striving for the mastery. Boys and young men climbed 
trees that grew near the spot that they might witness the 
terrific combat. Almost at the beginning of the contest 
Nealy threw (or knocked) Wallace down, and rained terriffic 
blows in Wallace's face, while Wallace let his blows into 
Nealy's sides and chest. Nealy was considerably taller 
than his antagonist, but Wallace was the heaviest, and said 
to be double-jointed. He had double breasts, well devel- 
oped. When thoroughly exhausted, Wallace hollered 
"enough." They were separated, laid in the shade and 
sponged with cold water. They were both covered with 
blood. In one hour Wallace proposed to fight it over, but 
Nealy was too exhausted, and declined. 



Blind Dick. 

However humble an individual may be, we must not for- 
get that he is a part of the whole, and may be known to all 
the citizens of a small town, especially if respectful and 
makes himself useful. Long- before the middle of the last 
century, in the heyday of American civilization, the man 
blind Dick was probably the most noted negro in the county. 
He was a slave, the property of Lawyer James Hutchison. 
He was a noted landmark in the town for more than twenty 
years before the great civil war, and lived for several years 
afterwards. His master gave him his time and protected 
him from evil-disposed persons. He contracted with sev- 
eral persons to feed and water and curry horses, carry fresh 
water to a number of rooms or offices, black boots, make 
fires and do sundry turns. He went about everywhere by 
himself, feeling his way with his stick. Almost every per- 
son in the county knew Blind Dick. He was very polite 
and respectful to every one, and every one wished to help 
him along, so he was well cared for. Once while carrying 
a. bushel basket of fine apples on his head along the street, a 
gentleman standing in his door reached up and picked an 
apple off the basket, which Dick at once perceived, and 
struck with great force where he supposed the offender was 
who had taken the fruit that had been entrusted to his care. 
Dick was regarded as honest, and always bore a good name 
from white people. 

If the great events that occurred in the county should be 
preserved with fidelity, why should those of lesser grade be 
passed over in silence. It is our desire to treat all subjects 
fairly ; even slavery that we not only tolerated, but defended 
for one hundred and fifty years. 



Negroes Before the War Between the States. 

From the time Mecklenburg county was the home of the 
Caucasian race — long 1 before the meets and bounds of the 
county were designated or cut off from Anson, the negro 
was employed as the slave of white men. At that early day 
they were not numerous according to population, but as the 
population increased they became more numerous. The 
price in the early times for a grown negro, either man or 
woman, did not exceed three hundred dollars; but before the 
Nineteenth century was half over, the price of a good look- 
ing man or woman would range from $1,000 to $1,800. The 
market price varied according to the price of sugar, rice, 
tobacco and cotton. In this county it was no uncommon 
thing to find the finest blacksmiths, carpenters, tanners, shoe- 
makers, and in fact all kinds of mechanics among the slaves. 
In the rice plantations of South Carolina, the great cotton 
fields of the more tropical States of the South, and wherever 
the negroes were worked under the overseers of the South- 
ern States, they did not have the advantages that were to be 
had in Mecklenburg, where none of the great crops were 
raised to the exclusion of the cereals. But few large slave 
holders — compared to those who owned but a few, or none 
at all — lived in the county. In the first sixty years of the 
century, scarcely a half dozen people in the county were fed 
in the Poor House. Now in the beginning of the Twenti- 
eth century about sixty — on an average — find quarters there, 
of both white and black. The population of both races have 
increased rapidly in the last forty years. The negroes have 
increased in an accelerated ratio in the last twenty years, 
owing to the rapid increase of population of Charlotte as a 
commercial and manufacturing centre. 

The negroes are abundantly provided with church and 
school facilities, although they were denied the privilege 
of going to school or acquiring an education when in a state 



126 HISTORY OF 

of slavery. Now they are on an equal footing with white 
children, in educational advantages, as the State provides 
public schools. 

But to speak of the negro in slavery in the county, was 
the object in view, that the young people might understand 
they had more real enjoyment prior to 1865 than they have 
ever had since. 

The affection that existed between master and slave was 
wonderful indeed. It was common when the white chil- 
dren should be sick, for the negroes to show a great deal of 
solicitude for the little one's welfare. When B. A. John- 
ston volunteered in the Confederate army, Company C, 
Thirty-seventh Regiment, Mrs. Johnston sent the family 
servant, Lige, to wait on and to nurse him in case of sick- 
ness. In May, 1864, Lieut. Johnston was killed and the 
enemy held the part of the field where he fell. When the 
news was carried to the rear and Lige was told of his mas- 
ter's death, ;.nd his body was in the Yankee lines, he cried 
like a child and said : "How can I go home to mistress and 
master, and leave Mars Alic's body in the hands of the en- 
emy. I'd rather die than tell them." 

They were true to their master's interests during the 
war. During all these four years of war, when only the 
old men and women were left at home, not a woman was in- 
sulted, or a house was burned by negroes ; but things were 
as quiet and orderly as if the men were at home and no war 
in the country. Their behavior was unparalleled in the 
annals of our country for more than one hundred years. 

Strange that they should aid in perpetuating their bond- 
age by their good behavior and raising good crops to feed 
the Southern army. 

It is characteristic of the negro to be happy when well 
fed, well clothed and not oppressed with over work. The 
fiddle and the banjo were their instruments of music, and 
when not forbidden, one-half of the night was consumed in 
social enjoyment. In ante bellum times the principal ration 
issued the slaves was corn bread, fried bacon and butter- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 127 

milk for breakfast; boiled bacon, cow peas, corn bread and 
vegetables for dinner; and for supper, bread and milk. Oa 
this diet they were able to do heavy work, viz., cut (with a 
scythe and cradle) one hundred dozen of wheat, or make two 
hundred rails in a day, which was an ordinary task. They 
increased rapidly and their children seldom ever died. Their 
mistress took the oversight of the babies, while their mothers 
would be in the field. The negroes were peculiarly subject 
to typhoid fever epidemics, and proved fatal in many 
cases. Since their freedom they do not have it. In slavery 
they were almost free from consumption; now a large part 
of them die with it. Their diet has a great deal to do 
with it. 

The negroes in the time of slavery were emphatically reli- 
gious people. Often carried away by their emotions, they 
were easily thrown into a state of enthusiasm or excitement 
that rendered them oblivious to all else for the time. Some 
times they would simulate a condition of trance, and remain 
in a semi-conscious state for hours. This state of mind 
would last but a few days, when they would regain their 
usual happy condition. They attended the churches of the 
white people. There was no such thing in slavery times as 
negro churches. It was usual to build a gallery in every 
church for the accommodation of the negroes. On com- 
munion Sabbaths, or other days when camp-meetings were 
held, very large crowds of them would be present, and 
dressed in their best clothes, could excel the whites in gal- 
lantry and general attention to the women. This was their 
happiest time. There was not a half dozen cruel masters in 
all of Mecklenburg county. A man that was cruel to his 
negroes was taboed by the white people in general, and 
would not be received into polite society. In the fall of the 
year, when their crops would be gathered, long piles of corn 
drawn into the barn yard and prepared to be shucked by 
all the hands in the neighborhood — the expectation of the 
rich supper that awaited them, premised by a treat of the 
best whiskey or brandy (that could be bought for 35 cents 



128 HISTORY OF 

a gallon) that produced lively anticipations. The heap was 
-soon divided, the two captains chose their men, a lively corn 
song was raised, and with great animation the long pile of 
corn was quickly shucked, with loud huzzars and great re- 
joicing of the victors. After their vociferous rejoicings 
had subsided, they would wend their way to the supper 
table where a bountiful repast awaited their arrival. When 
all had partaken of the bounty, they were assigned to a room 
where the furniture had been removed, when the fiddle and 
the banjo played "Old Jimmie Suddentie," and other pieces 
suited for the "light fantastic toe." This was kept up till 
midnight, when they would all disperse and go to their 
homes. These were the happiest days of the race ; and it is 
a great consolation to the people of the South that the pres- 
ent deplorable condition of the negro cannot be laid at our 
doors. "Shake not thy gory locks at me; thou canst not 
sav I did it." 



15/>e Statte Laws in the First Half of the 
Nineteenth Century. 

In the first half of the 19th century the State laws were 
much more strict and rigid than they were at its close. 
Many offenses were then not noticed. A thief was more apt 
to get the penalty of the law than a homicide or even a mur- 
derer. As civilization grew older, the branding iron was fre- 
quently called in to mark the man guilty of manslaughter. 
It was also called into requisition for perjury, but more fre- 
quently the punishment for false swearing was to nail the 
lobe of the ear to a whipping post and cut the ear from 
the head. For manslaughter, the side of the face, or the 
palm of the hand was strongly bound to the railing by 
leather straps, when the branding iron, with the letters "M. 
S." heated red hot, was held on the cheek or in the palm of 
the hand, till the criminal or his attorney would say three 
times, "God save the State." But however glib with the 
tongue the attorney might be, the smoke arising from the 
quivering flesh would reach the top of the court room, or 
"The Temple of Justice." 

The lash was the only remedy for stealing, and was 
often made use of for minor offenses. Thirty-nine was the 
limit, but in bad cases the whipping could be repeated in ten 
days. Imprisonment for debt was very common, keeping 
the debtor in prison for thirty days ; then if he could swear 
he was not worth 40 shillings, he was released, and no 
further prosecution could be had against him, but was free. 

The whipping post, the stocks and pillory, branding irons, 
were institutions that proved a holy terror to law-breakers 
in general, and were kept on the statute books for the benefit 
of the unruly until 1867. While we were under military 
despotism during reconstruction days, our people were for- 
bidden the use of corporeal punishment. 

As a substitute, though a poor one, we made use of the 



I30 HISTORY OF 

chain gang, and as soon as possible the penitentiary was 
gotten under way. Then was inaugurated a "School for 
Scoundrels." 

Mecklenburg has reaped her full share of the evils of such 
an institution. The penitentiary costs very heavy, and is a 
foot ball to be kicked about by whichever party has the 
power of filling the offices. But for the last twenty years 
since the county has engaged in building and constructing 
Macadamized county roads, wherever the nature of the 
crime will admit of it, the criminal is made to work for the 
county. Where the crimes have been very heinous, they 
are sent to the State prison. But no punishment is so cheap 
or so effective as the stocks and whipping post. But we 
have to keep up with the procession. At this stage of civiliza- 
tion it was customary to adopt the easiest and quickest way to 
take game without regard to damages that may be sus- 
tained by other people. In the early part of the century it 
was very common for people to go deer stalking; that is, to 
hunt deer with a pan of fire fastened with a strap on the 
back between the shoulders, with rich pine laid across the 
pan to make a brilliant light, so that the eye was blinded by 
the dazzling torch so that the hunter could come up close 
and "shine their eyes ;" could take good aim, and have no 
difficulty in taking their game. But this plan had its draw- 
backs as it is impossible to tell by the "shining eyes" 
whether it was a calf, sheep, colt or deer. Consequently a 
special law was passed against fire hunting, making it a mis- 
demeanor, punishable with thirty-nine lashes on the bare 
back. It soon broke up this style of hunting. Many of the 
little misdemeanors, more annoyances than loss of property, 
were subject to whipping at the discretion of the magis- 
trate's court. But in many cases the thief was permitted to 
run away, commonly called "taking leg bail." But old 
things have passed away and all things have become new. 



Biographical Sketches. 

GEN. GEORGE GRAHAM. 

He was a resident of Mecklenburg, and a brother of Gen. 
Joseph Graham. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1758, 
and came with his mother and family to North Carolina 
when about six years old. He was educated in Charlotte, 
and at an early age espoused the cause of his "country. In 
j 775, he, with a few others, rode all night to Salisbury, 
seized the Tory lawyers, Dunn and Booth, brought them 
to Mecklenburg, and from thence they were carried to Cam- 
den and imprisoned. When Cornwallis lay at Charlotte, 
he was very active in attacking his foraging parties. He 
was the leader of the attack at Mclntyre's, six or seven miles 
from Charlotte, on the Beattie's Ford Road, and actually, 
with twelve men, compelled the foraging party of four hun- 
dred English, to fall back in utter confusion. He was 
Major-General of militia of North Carolina. For a long 
time clerk of the court, and often a member of the Legisla- 
ture. He died the 29th of March, 1826. He was buried 
in the old, or first cemetery in Charlotte. The following 
inscription is upon his tombstone : 

"Sacred to the memory of Major-General George Gra- 
ham, who died on the 29th of March, 1826, in the 68th year 
of his age." 

He lived more than half a century in the vicinity of this 
place, and was a zealous and active defender of his country's 
rights in the Revolutionary war, and one of the gallant 
twelve who dared to attack, and actually drove four hun- 
dred British troops at Mclntyre's, seven miles north of 
Charlotte, on the 3d of October, 1780. George Graham 
filled many high and responsible public trusts, the duties 
of which he discharged with fidelity. He was the peoples' 



I3 2 HISTORY OF 

friend, not their flatterer, and uniformly enjoyed the un- 
limited confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. 

WM. LEE DAVIDSON. 

Wm. Lee Davidson, Esq., was a son of Gen. Davidson, 
who was killed in the battle of Cowan's Ford, and lived near 
Davidson College; in fact, the college was called for his 
father, and he did much to help get it in working order. He 
was a man of fine intellect, and did much for the county, 
but being a Whig in politics, was in a hopeless minority. In 
1850 he moved to Alabama, and engaged in planting cot- 
ton. He was a large and successful farmer. He was mar- 
ried twice, but raised no children. He died about the 
close of the war, in 1865. He was an enthusiast in silk cul- 
ture in 1845. He planted an orchard of (multicaulus) 
mulberry trees to feed the silk worms. He was very suc- 
cessful in raising the worms and also in having the co- 
coons spun, but could not find a market for the product, and 
of course, the industry was abandoned. This was a great 
"fad" over the country that yielded but little fruit, but left 
an experience that has served to- warn against indulging in 
an industry that failed to "pay." 

PATRICK JOHNSTON. 

Patrick Johnston, a native of Ireland, came to this coun- 
try in 1787; was an expert weaver by trade. He married 
Miss Anmie Wall. They worked hard and were saving, and 
soon accumulated a handsome estate. He had three sons 
and two daughters. James Johnston and Houston John- 
ston lived near the home place, between Beattie's Ford and 
Davidson College. They were good citizens, accumulated 
property, were large tax-payers, but were a short-lived fam- 
ily. 

Mary married Samuel Lowrie, a son of Judge Samuel 
Lowrie, and lived on the Beattie's Ford road, seventeen miles 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 33 

northwest of Charlotte. Mr. Lowrie died in Missouri in 
1846, of yellow fever, and Mrs. Mary Lowrie died in 1849, 
leaving four sons and one daughter. The sons all volun- 
teered in the army. Houston, a captain in the Sixth Regi- 
ment, N. C. T., was killed at Sharpsburg, Md., September 
17, 1862. Lieut. Jas. B. Lowrie was killed at Gettysburg 
July 3, 1863. Capt. Patrick J. Lowrie died at Wilmington, 
N. C, 1862, of yellow fever. Samuel Lowrie, the only 
one of the four who lived through the war, resided in Flor- 
ida and died in 1892. Miss Annie Wall Lowrie married 
Dr. J. B. Alexander and lived near the old homestead for 
more than thirty years. She was very popular with her 
neighbors, and was much missed by her friends when 1 she 
and her husband moved to Charlotte in 1890, to be with 
their daughter, Annie L. Alexander, who was a graduate in 
medicine, and located here to practice her profession. And 
I would mention the fact that she was the first Southern 
woman to take a degree, or practice medicine in the South- 
ern States. She graduated at the Woman's Medical College 
of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, in 1884. Since the ice 
has been broken, and women have been admitted to practice 
medicine on an equality with men, they have now first-class 
colleges in a great many Northern cities and admit them to 
all medical colleges in the South on an equality with men. 

His two daughters — Rachel married Sidney Houston, 
who lived in Iredell county, and had two sons, James and 
George Houston, who were first-class men', and raised fami- 
lies who were useful citizens. Mr. James Houston married 
a daughter of Wm. Patterson, a prominent citizen, south of 
Beattie's Ford. Mr. Patterson was an active Justice of 
the Peace, a man of influence, and was held in repute in this 
end of the county. His daughter Margaret was well known 
and appreciated by a large circle of friends. She has spent 
a long life in doing good to others. 

One daughter of Mr. Patterson. Lenora. married Joseph 
M. Wilson, Esq., who is also a prominent Justice of the 
Peace and farmer, and has taken an active part in schools 



134 HISTORY OF 

and church ; and has raised a worthy family of children. His 
wife is still living, in feeble health, but can look back on a 
well-spent life. 

LOUIS JETTON. 

Mr. Louis Jetton, a descendant of the French Huguenots, 
came into this county in the latter part of the Eighteenth 
century. His son, Alexander Brevard Jetton, lived to be 
an old man, who exemplified in his life the religion 'he pro- 
fessed, was held in much esteem; by all who knew him. His 
name is transmitted by one son, J. L. Jetton, an educated 
gentleman, and has educated his six children that they may 
prove to be worthy of such ancestors. Mr. Jetton and his 
wife are still living, and enjoy the fruits of a well-spent 
life. He was twice a member of the Legislature, when the 
honor was forced upon him. He now resides near David- 
son. 

HUGH TORRANCE. 

Hugh Torrance came to Mecklenburg in the latter part 
of the Eighteenth century, and settled in the Hopewell 
neighborhood. He was an extensive farmer, and married 
the widow of Col. Falls, who was killed in the battle of Ram- 
seur's Mill, in Lincoln county, in 1781. He built a very ele- 
gant brick mansion that will compare favorably with the 
most aristocratic residences in the city or county. Mr. Tor- 
rance was a native of Ireland, and had the "push" that was 
characteristic of the early emigrants of the Scotch-Irish 
people. They were a money-making and Church-loving peo>- 
ple; consequently they were not willing to stop short of in- 
dependence, and Mecklenburg will ever be proud of the fact 
that her early settlers were of the stamp that loved liberty 
and freedom. One son, James Torrance, was the only 
fruit of this marriage. Both Mr. and Mrs. Torrance died 
in February, 1816. Their elegant home was left to Mr. 




MISS MARGARET A. LOWRIE. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 35 

James Torrance, who added larg-ely to his estate — both in 
land and negroes. He was married three times, had a large 
family who have scattered off, till now but two, the young- 
est sous, live in the county. The old county seats that have 
been in the family from the time the lands were first entered, 
are now fast passing into the hands of strangers, and will 
soon be unknown to the children of the original owners. 
Richard and John, two of the youngest of the third genera- 
tion, are now among the oldest men of the county, amd will 
soon have passed from the land holders of the county. As 
there is now a craze for all the educated classes, and the 
property holders to move to towns, where they can have the 
advantages of schools and society. Mr. Richard Torrance 
and family now live in Charlotte, but cultivates his farm 
with tenant labor. For more than one hundred years our 
lands have been cultivated by slave labor, but for nearly 
forty years freed labor, or free labor, has been depended on, 
which has been so unreliable that the best element on the 
farms, with the employers, have moved to the towns. 

MARGARET ALEXANDER LOWRIE. 

Without an effort on her part there were but few women 
in the county who exercised a more healthy or helpful influ- 
ence. When a young lady, rich and beautiful, came of a 
family of great culture and influence, she was looked up to 
and courted by the many for her smiles of approbation. 
Her company was always sought for. She never consid- 
ered any one an inferior who supported a good name and 
was careful to preserve it. She was a daughtet of Judge 
Samuel Lowrie, who was a native of Delaware, and was a 
son of Robert and Elizabeth Lowrie. When a child his par- 
ents moved to Rowan county, and he was educated by Rev. 
James Hall in Iredell county. 

Tn 1804, 1805 and 1816, he was elected a representative 
in the Legislature of North Carolina. In 1806 he was 



I36 HISTORY OF 

elected judge of the Superior Court, which position he held 
until he died, which was in 1818. 

He married Margaret, daughter of Robert Alexander. 
The fruit of this marriage was Robert, Samuel, Polly (mar- 
ried Dr. Dunlap), Lilly (married Brawley Oates), Eliza 
and Margaret. In 181 1 he married Mary, daughter of 
Marmaduke Norfleet, of Bertie county, N. C. From this 
marriage there was but one daughter, Rebecca, who mar- 
ried Rev. John Robinson, an Episcopal minister, who located 
in Huntsville, Ala. But few of the family are now left to 
speak of their history. Miss Margaret Lowrie was a great 
favorite with young people, and always had a crowd to 
visit her. Her sister Eliza, who was never strong, lived 
with her. She was a great reader just for her own pleasure, 
and let Miss Margaret do the housekeeping and the enter- 
taining of visitors. In her old age she never forgot that 
she was once young, and had much charity for the young, 
and sometimes in a sly way would tell how the boys would 
come "a-courting." It always appeared to furnish her 
pleasure to tell about Speight McLean and Joe Alexander 
coming on Cupid's errand. She received offers of mar- 
riage when she was quite old, but she would laugh and say : 
"It is time now to turn these little episodes over to our 
juniors." In these prosaic times it would be well to have 
some of the "old issue" to come along again. 

SAMUEL J. LOWRIE, ESQ. 

He was one of the most brilliant lawyers that Mecklen- 
burg county ever produced. He was the son of Dr. Robert 
Lowrie, and he a son of Judge Samuel Lowrie, of Mecklen- 
burg county. He was born to an inheritance of legal talent. 
The women possessed literary talent of a high order, con- 
nected with grace and beauty of person. Mr. S. J. Lowrie' s 
father died quite young, had but two children, Samuel and 
Robert. Their mother married a second time, and Samuel 
J. Lowrie came to Charlotte to live with his aunts, maiden 




SAMUEL J. LOWRIE, ESQ. 









Jp UBUci 



y o^ 
























g^j^ 






■ 








*^» 




n > 



CAPT. JOHN WALKER. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 37 

ladies, who lived with their brother-in-law, Dr. David R. 
Dunlap, and frequently with Brawley Oates, another broth- 
er-in-law, who lived in a large lot on the eastern corner of 
Seventh and Brevard streets. And, by the way, it is said 
Miss Lilly Lowrie, afterwards Mrs. Oates, was the prettiest 
woman in Mecklenburg. Mr. Oates was engaged in the of- 
fice of the County Court Clerk, and took his nephew as a sub- 
stitute in the office with him, and for several years he worked 
there and read law. He was not only thoroughly drilled in 
the science of the law, but was well acquainted with the 
practical workings of the law. After obtaining his license 
to practice law, he was taken in partnership by Hon. J. W. 
Osborne, who was a prince among lawyers. After a few 
years he took an office by himself, and did not devote him- 
self as assiduously to his practice as his friends desired. He 
was the peoples' favorite, and his services always in de- 
mand. The war came on and he plead his avoirdupois was 
against his marching. He was too heavy for cavalry ser- 
vice, hence he chose the navy. He was stationed in Charles- 
ton harbor, where the duties were light and no marching 
to do. His legal talents accompanied him to the navy ; here 
he was employed to defend a poor seaman who had stricken 
an officer. The penalty was death, but he gained an acquit- 
tal for his client. Once he wanted a furlough, and he wrote 
the clerk to know how many cases he was to appear for in 
the Superior Court. The clerk replied 150 cases; either 
for or against most every case on the docket. He got his 
furlough. His opportunities were very great. He outlived 
his aunts and all of his near kin, yet he was scarce forty 
when death claimed a most brilliant lawyer, in 1870. 

CAPT. JOHN WALKER. 

In any State of the Union, Capt. Walker would have 
taken a prominent position. Nature had chosen him for a 
leader of men. He was not a polished man, with a surface 
education, but he had a strong mind, well balanced, fearless 



I38 HISTORY OF 

in contending' for what he believed was right. He was one 
of the most influential citizens of Mecklenburg county. He 
entered public life in 1840, as a member of the General As- 
sembly of North Carolina. He there drew the attention of 
the county, by his close attention to business, particularly to 
the welfare of Mecklenburg. He was sent to the Senate in 
i842-'44-'46-'48. Again Senator in 1854, and the last time 
in i860. Six times a Senator from this county betokens 
great popularity. He was given the pet name of "The 
Great Wheel Horse of Democracy." He was an active Jus- 
tice of the Peace; was for a long time chairman of the 
County Court, and was able to dispense justice without so 
much red tape. He was a good man to have in a neighbor- 
hood. He appealed to reason, and prevented many a trivial 
law suit by a timely word of advice, that otherwise would 
have engendered a bitterness that would have lasted more 
than a generation. He understood the common law, and had 
no hesitation to enforce it, and believed that all — both rich 
and poor — should be treated alike. He believed in being fair 
in debate, and he would force his opponent to be fair, or else 
he would drive him to the wall. He was strictly in his ele- 
ment when he had a "foeman worthy of his steel." 

After the war, in the days of reconstruction, he was shorn 
of his strength. Much of his property was gone; he was 
placed under the ban ; he was not allowed to vote; if he was 
worth $20,000, unless he could get a pardon ( ?) his prop- 
erty would be confiscated. His proud spirit could not brook 
such treatment. He lived but a short time. Reconstruc- 
tion laws bore heavily upon him. 

It took a man of iron nerves to undergo the so-called re- 
construction days. He was elected an elder in Sardis 
church when but 20 years old. But for the sake of peace 
and harmony, he. with his son, Rev. James Walker, and 
several other prominent members, removed their member- 
ship to Sharon, where he continued to exercise the office of 
ruling elder until his death. 

Capt. Walker was married three times. First he married 



THE 






PMLICU6R- 



ic 




JAS. H. DAVIS. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 39 

Miss Susan McCullough. She bore him two children, Rev. 
James Walker, and one other son who died in childhood. 
His second wife was a widow — Jane Harris — who bore him 
no children, although she had two by a former husband. 
His third wife was Miss Sophonia White. She did not bear 
any children. 

Capt. Walker was a representative man of the old school, 
when the peoples' verdict was the law of the land, from 
which no one deemed it a hardship or ever thought of an 
appeal. He lived in a time when a case of extreme poverty 
was unknown in the county, unless it was from sickness or 
self-imposed. During his day the production of cotton was 
comparatively, in its infancy; raising negroes, hogs, cattle 
and horses and mules ; they did not care so much for money, 
as to have that which could be turned into money. Our 
whole system of farming and civilization was changed by 
the reconstruction. Capt. John Walker was born February 
22, 1801, east of Charlotte, about eight miles. Here he 
kept his home all his life when not engaged in the business 
of the State. He died September 8, 1876. His life was a 
useful one. When not engaged for the State, he was look- 
ing after the interests of his family, the church, and the 
county. The county could well say he was jealous of the 
best interests of Mecklenburg, and of the church. 

JAMES DAVIS. 

Mr. James Davis was the son of Watson Davis, of Provi- 
dence congregation, where he lived and died early in the 
Nineteenth century. James, the subject of this sketch, had 
one brother who also lived in Providence, named Samuel 
Davis. He had a daughter who married her cousin, Mar- 
cellus Davis, who lives in the town of Charlotte. 

Mr. James Davis lived some six miles southwest of Provi- 
dence church. He married a Miss Lee, an aunt of D. P. 
Lee, amongst the best people in the county. Mr. Davis was 
a farmer of splendid attainments. He studied the needs 



I40 HISTORY OF 

of his soil and put in practice his conclusions. Persons who 
knew him well, said he was a bold buyer, or seller, as the 
case might be. He would buy a plantation ready stocked 
with horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs, and farming 
tools, and negroes enough to cultivate it. A big trade of 
this kind would not cause him to lose an hour's sleep. He 
was always cool, and if he could see a fair promise to realize 
a handsome profit, he was quick to strike a trade. He 
always rode a magnificent horse, and was a fine rider. He 
owned several large plantations, and they were well stocked 
with the best the country afforded. Of course we are speak- 
ing of things as they appeared then. The civilization of 
ante-bellum days was very different from what it was at a 
later day. In the former period a man of means had no 
hesitation about making debts; for the number of slaves he 
had were regarded the best of collaterals, and he could 
always get as much time as he wanted. He had all his 
stock, of every kind, well protected against the cold of win- 
ter ; abundantly fed, so that they were always ready for ser- 
vice. His negroes were well cared for, in sickness and 
health. It was his opinion that all stock was profitable in 
proportion to the care that was bestowed upon it. This 
was before cotton became king of products and king of com- 
merce. In 1852 a wealthy man in south Iredell county said 
the most profitable stock to raise in this country was 
"negroes and hogs." 

Mr. Davis was a staunch supporter of the war. He be- 
lieved in raising all the supplies the army should need, both 
what was necessary to feed the soldiers in the field, and sup- 
ply their families at home. He first gave his son, a boy of 
seventeen, to the Confederacy, all the horses and mules he 
could spare from his farm, paid more than the tenth of all 
his meat and bread and feed for horses. During the last 
two years of the war his granaries were so much frequented 
by the soldiers' wives, especially from Union county, that 
they called it "going down to Egypt." They would fre- 
quently come in large companies, a soldier's wife or 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. I4I 

daughter driving a one-horse wagon, sometimes an ox, or a 
mule; and none turned away without a load. Whatever 
would satisfy hunger and render the people comfortable, 
was poured cut without stint. If the wealthy people of our 
Southland had been as patriotic as Mr. Davis, there would 
have been fewer desertions from the Confederate army. 

Mr. Davis owned about three hundred negroes, and of 
course had no hesitation about contracting a debt with all 
these collaterals behind him ; but when the war ended disas- 
trously to the South, and swept away the very foundations 
on which the finances of the State, or the Confederacy was 
built, it cast a gloom over the people that they could not 
shake off at pleasure. The younger people could start in 
anew, but those who were in the evening of life were not able 
to stem the adverse current as it rushed madly on to over- 
throw all of our civilization. 

It was morally impossible for a man, a large planter, 
owning a vast number of slaves, to regain his hold on the 
financial touchstone, when all had been swept away, an 
army of adventurers were hanging on his every turn, hoping 
to pick his financial carcass, as he recuperated his shattered 
fortune. 

Young men endowed with a superabundance of energy 
can sometimes rebuild a lost fortune under adverse circum- 
stances ; but when the evening shadows grow long, and hope 
is crushed, and only defeat stares him in the face ; all incen- 
tive to action has subsided, energy is gone, and he gradually 
sinks into a premature grave. In this way have many en- 
tered the future state who otherwise might have reached 
a green old age. Old age that comes with stealthy steps, 
hardly pausing as each year goes round, comes naturally, 
has many sweets to make bright and gladsome the counte- 
nances when all goes well ; but we can only see poverty and 
wretchedness, when the bitter cup is pressed to our lips, and 
we are made to drink to its dregs, and there is nothing left 
us but the quietude of the grave. 

Many cases of this kind will have to be answered for at 



142 HISTORY OF 

the shrine of truth and justice. Our Southern people faced 
the defeat with wonderful courage. Many of our old men 
were so paralyzed, not by defeat so much, as by the petty 
tyrants who thought to lord it over their superiors in virtue 
and all that constitutes true manhood. 

Mr. James Davis was surrounded by the best people in 
the State — Mr. W. M. Matthews, Wm. McKee, Wm. Ar- 
drey, M. D., Capt. W. E. Ardrey, John Rhea, Robert Grier, 
Elam Sample, Neil Morrison. The names of such men to 
constitute the neighbors of James Davis, is prima facie evi- 
dence that he was more than an ordinary man ; and his deeds 
of charity in cases deserving it, will live long after his face 
is forgotten. 

W. J. YATES EDITOR AND PRINTER. 

Mr. Yates was born in Fayetteville, N. C, in 1827. Work 
was as natural for him as laziness is for some people. He 
loved to work to accomplish certain aims. He most cor- 
dially despised idlers, and laid to the charge of idleness pov- 
erty and all its train of evils. He entered the printing of- 
fice of the North Carolinian at an early age, and by industry 
and frugality, was enabled to buy the paper, which he again 
sold and in 1856 moved to Charlotte and bought the Char- 
lotte Democrat. This was his idol — the apple of his eye. 
He could suffer the loss of anything else rather than have 
his paper evil spoken of. In 1881, October 1st, the South- 
ern Home was consolidated with the Democrat and pub- 
lished as the Home-Democrat, Mr. Yates retiring from ac- 
tive management of the same. In the interval he was res- 
tive and his oft repeated assertion, "I cannot stay out of this 
office," led him in February, 1884, to again assume his 
wonted possession — a good editor, he loved his profession. 
He made a financial success of his paper and by economy 
and judicious business management, accumulated a hand- 
some competency. He earned his money in Charlotte, and 
invested it here, having no use for any enterprise outside of 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 43 

the State. A loyal North Carolinian, familiar with her his- 
tory and conversant with the record of her people. 

He was president of the Board of Directors of the Insane 
Asylum at Morganton, and a Trustee of the University at 
Chapel Hill. Pronounced in his opinion, he held his con- 
victions with a strong and unyielding grasp, his superior 
judgment wielded an influence in the councils of which he 
was a member. His individual characteristics were mani- 
fest through the columns of his paper. Liberal, he gave 
unostentatiously; his private charities amounted to a large 
sum ; the veriest tramp never appealed in vain, the gift often 
accompanied with expressions of his contempt for idleness. 
The poor will miss his generous hand. Simple in taste, 
plain in habits, he was intolerant of display and pretence; a 
good citizen, one whom the community will miss. The 
press of North Carolina has lost its oldest and most valued 
editor. Peace to his ashes. He was well suited for the 
times in which he lived. He died October 28, 1888. 

SHERIFF MARSHALL ALEXANDER. 

He was one of the most popular men of Mecklenburg 
county. He was a gentleman of the old school — never 
forgot the training he received in ante-bellum days ; always 
cheerful, and ever ready to help an old Confederate. 

In speaking oi Mr. Alexander, we must say that there 
were in his life and career far more noble qualities than one 
would suppose who was not intimately acquainted with him. 
He was a man of fine intelligence, possessing a warm heart. 
At times he appeared rough and harsh, but it was because 
you did not know him. There was a vein of quaint humor 
running through his character that made him friends wher- 
ever he moved. He was a gallant soldier in the late war, 
and occupied the position of Lieutenant in Company B, 
Fifty-third Regiment, North Carolina Troops, Gen. Daniel's 
Brigade, Rode's Division. He was captured at Gettysburg 



144 HISTORY OF 

and sent to Johnston's Island, and not exchanged, but re- 
mained there till the war was over. 

In 1872 he was elected sheriff of Mecklenburg county, 
which office he filled with entire satisfaction for 12 years. 
He made a faithful officer, always among the first to settle 
with the State; yet he was indulgent and the tax payers of 
this county speak of his administration of the office in the 
highest terms. It was a common saying on the streets that 
he was "the best sheriff the county ever had." (But the 
county has never had an inferior officer of any kind since the 
days of reconstruction.) He was cut down in the prime of 
life, when his usefulness was at full tide, his wife having 
preceded him some time. He was about 50 years old. 
Every one said "Marshall Alexander was an honest man." 
He was just and straightforward in all his dealings; he was 
always ready "to render unto Caesar the things that belonged 
to Caesar." He was a conscientious man and was as true to 
his convictions as the needle is to the pole. He was open 
and candid. Had no petty spites or harbored a mean re- 
venge. He died peacefully and calmly. His life ebbed out 
like the fading light of day. The whole county feels the loss 
of a friend. But everything terrestrial must fade and disap- 
pear. He died in 1886. 

DR. J. M. STRONG. 

John Mason Strong was born in Newberry county, S. C, 
September 1, 181 8. He was the only son of Rev. Charles 
Strong, of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 
and Nancy Harris Strong. 

Charles Strong died July 20, 1824. His wife survived 
him until November 8, 1842. They had five children — but 
one son — the subject of this sketch. John Mason entered 
Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pa., in 1839; graduated 
in 1 84 1 under the presidency of Dr. Matthew Brown. He 
read medicine under Dr. John Harris, of Steele Creek, and 
attended a course of lectures at Charleston, S. C, but gradu- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 145 

ated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., in 
1847. His first and only home was in Steele Creek, 
where he was reared and where he practiced medicine 
for over fifty years. He was a ruling elder in Steele Creek 
A. R. P. Church and throughout his long and singularly 
useful life was one of the staunchest of churchmen. He 
was a "pillar of the church," being prominent always in its 
councils and affairs. He served as a surgeon in the late 
war, and was considered one of the ablest men, profession- 
ally, in the service. He was called in as an expert to settle 
the difference among the local doctors in the smallpox epi- 
demic of 1850 in Charlotte. 

Dr. Strong was twice married. His first wife was Rachel 
Elenor Harris, daughter of Dr. John Moore Harris. They 
were married April 7, 1851. She died May 27, 1880, leav- 
ing five children. In September, 1883, Dr. Strong married 
Miss Nancy Grier, of Steele Creek, who survives him. He 
was one of the most prominent men in the county. His 
integrity was above question, his piety an example to all, 
and his ability of the class that made him easily one of the 
best physicians of the county. He kept up with the prog- 
ress of the science, held to that which would counteract 
disease and benefit his patient. He was an all-round man, 
and was prepared for any emergency. He reached a ripe 
age, and was an honor to his profession and to the county 
of his adoption. He died March 22, 1897. 

JUDGE SHIPP BORN NOVEMBER 19, 1819, DIED 189O. 

"Judge Shipp was a man of wonderful popularity, both 
as a judge and as a citizen. In the former capacity he was 
conceded to be one of the finest judges of law known to the 
vState. He was, on all occasions, a modest man. Often- 
times subject to unjust criticism, he always presented the 
even tenor of his way and in the end he was always vindi- 
cated. It was seldom indeed that one of his decisions was 



I46 HISTORY OF 

reversed. As a judge he ranked amongst the foremost ol' 
the State. 

As a citizen, Charlotte was proud of him. A genial man, 
upright in all the walks of his life, both private and public, 
his death is a loss to the State and will be mourned not only 
by Charlotte, but by every town and hamlet in the State. 
He was graduated at the University in 1840, delivering the 
salutatory address; was admitted to the bar in 1842; prac- 
ticed in Lincoln and the mountain district. At the beginning 
of the Civil War he was elected captain of a volunteer com- 
pany in Hendersonville, and served in that capacity in Vir- 
ginia until he was elected Judge. In 1870 he was nominated 
by the Democratic party for Attorney-General on the ticket 
with Hon. A. S. Merrimon, candidate for Governor, etc., 
and was the only Democrat elected. He practiced law in 
Charlotte from 1872 to 1881, when he was appointed by 
Governor Jarvis judge of the Superior Court to succeed 
Hon. David Schenck. He was re-elected for eight years in 
1882. He was a member of the Legislature before the war. 

He was twice married, first to Catherine Cameron; sec- 
ond, to Margaret Iredell, daughter of James Iredell, at one 
time Governor of North Carolina and United States Sena- 
tor. 

"Judge Shipp was one of the best informed lawyers in the 
State. He had a marked legal mind, he reasoned closely, 
and as a jurist was eminent. He had no superior on the 
bench. He was fond of historv and literature of our Ian- 
guage, especially the standard works. He was interesting 
and alive in conversation, and had much wit and humor." 

The Charlotte bar met and attended his funeral in a body, 
and passed appropriate resolutions on the great loss they 
had sustained in the death of Judge Shipp. But his useful- 
ness was not confined to Mecklenburg county, but extended 
to all parts of the State. He died in 1890. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 47 

COE. WILEIAM JOHNSTON. 

One of the foremost citizens of Mecklenburg county, who 
was born in Lincoln county March 5, 181 7, and belonged to 
cne of the best families in that county. He was educated at 
the University of the State. He studied law under Judge 
R. M. Pearson, was licensed in 1842, and located in Char- 
lotte, where he continued to reside to the end of his life. His 
residence was somewhat of the olden style, very large and 
roomy and elegant. 

He was an ardent Whig during the decade preceding the 
war between the States, and with great ardor espoused the 
cause of the South. In 1856 he assumed the presidency of 
the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad Co., and by his 
ability as a financier and manager, put the road in a prosper- 
ous condition. This road proved of great benefit to the 
Confederate government during the war until destroyed by 
Sherman in 1865. 

In 1859 Col. Johnston inaugurated the Atlantic, Tennes- 
see & Ohio Railroad, and completed forty-six miles of con- 
struction, when the war came on and put a stop to the work. 
Col. Johnston was an ardent supporter of the Southern 
Cause. He was twice sent as a delegate to the conventions 
called for the purpose of considering Federal relations, and 
at both he strongly advocated North Carolina withdrawing 
from the Union. 

In March, 1862, he was a candidate for Governor, but he 
had as an opponent Zebulon B. Vance, then a colonel in the 
Confederate army, by whom he was defeated. He, how- 
ever, rendered the Confederacy throughout the war great 
service in the transportation of men, ammunition and sup- 
plies. At the close of the war he succeeded in getting the 
Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta road completed from 
Columbia to Augusta, and to-day it stands as a monument 
to his sagacity and business ability. The story of Presi- 
dent Davis' arrival in Charlotte, and the startling news it 
was destined he should hear in this city, is known by the 



148 HISTORY OF 

older citizens; but as a matter of history for the younger 
generation, as well as being one of the most interesting 
events in Col. Johnston's life, is told here. Just after peace 
had been declared, President Davis arrived in Charlotte 
April 18, 1865, and was met by Col. Johnston. He was 
taken to the home of a man by the name of Bates, whose 
guest he was, and who lived on the corner where the ex- 
press office now stands. A crowd had gathered on the cor- 
ner to greet Mr. Davis, who stood on the steps of the house 
making an address. A telegram was passed to him. He 
read it, and his face assumed a serious expression, and 
passing the telegram to Col. Johnston, who stood by him, 
he retired into the house. In the crowd was Bates. He 
reported to the United States Government that President 
Davis had spoken exultingly when he read the telegram 
which announced Lincoln's assassination. Subsequently, 
Col. Johnston volunteered, when ^President Davis was under 
arraignment by the government, to go to New York and 
furnish the facts to Davis' counsel. 

Col. Johnston was married in 1846 to Miss Anna Eliza 
Graham, daughter of Dr. George F. Graham, brother of 
Wm. A. Graham, and to them were born Julia M., wife of 
Col. A. B. Andrews, of Raleigh; Frank G., Cora J., wife of 
Capt. T. R. Robinson; W. R. Johnston. Mrs. Johnston 
died in 1881. The children all survive except Mrs. Robin- 
son. 

Col. Johnston was one of Charlotte's wealthiest citizens. 
He owned valuable property here and in Memphis. 

Col. Johnston was elected Mayor of Charlotte and served 
as follows: from May, 1875, to May, 1887 — missing two 
years. He served four terms, giving great satisfaction. 
The town prospered under his administration very greatly. 
He was a wise financier, and used the peoples' money most 
judiciously, solely for the benefit of the town. He died in 
1896. 



A 






y 0l 








DR. ISAAC WILSON. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 149 

DR. ISAAC WILSON. 

(A practitioner of Medicine from 1825 to 18/5.) 

The subject of this chapter was a son of Sheriff Wilson, 
and a nephew of that eminent minister, Rev. John McKamie 
Wilson, D. D., who was regarded as one of the greatest 
preachers of his day. Rocky River was his church and 
home for a number of years. He was so intimately con- 
nected with the people of Mecklenburg that no apology is 
needed for mentioning his name or his greatness. Dr. 
Isaac Wilson studied medicine under Dr. D. T. Caldwell. 
He did not have the advantages of attending a medical col- 
lege, or one of the recent kinds of hospitals, but he gained 
his knowledge from medical works and bedside experience. 
His practice covered a large expanse of territory. One day 
he would start out on the west side, on the next he would go 
on the east side — so that he was able to see all of his patients 
once in two days. He carried a very capacious pair of sad- 
dlebags, which were replenished every morning with such 
things as were expected to be needed. One thing in par- 
ticular was never left out, viz. : his cupping horn. Seventy- 
five years ago it was very fashionable to bleed in all diseases. 
Dr. Wilson was not noted for bleeding, but if he did not 
bleed, he always cupped, hence his horn was never forgotten. 
It was taken from the head of a two-year-old heifer, scraped 
so thin you could easily see how much blood was drawn. A 
nice piece of ivory or horn closed the large end, with a few 
tacks or wire, and the small end with beeswax, punctured 
with a pin — through this hole the air is sucked out, and 
with the teeth the wax is made to fill the hole, and the blood' 
is now poured out in sufficient quantity to relieve the patient. 

Dr. Wilson was well known in the northwestern half of 
the county. In those days when physicians were few and 
far between, their practice was necessarily extensive; and it 
was common for a doctor not to see his patients oftener than 
once in two or three days. In 1830, before quinine was 



I50 HISTORY OF 

discovered, or had been put on the market, barks (Peruvian) 
was the great remedy to stop chills with. In virulent cases 
a "bark jacket" was worn. In many cases grow round 
(cupertorhim pcrfolliatum) a plant growing in marshy places, 
was extensively used; but we must not suppose the doctor 
carried all these plants with him, but they could be obtained 
at almost every house. He was immensely popular, was 
invited to all the parties, dinings, wedding's and entertain- 
ments. One hundred years ago a doctor was about on a 
par with the preacher. Dr. Wilson was a Justice of the 
Peace, and was often called on to officiate in marriages 
when the preacher was absent. 

Dr. Wilson was married three times. His first wife was 
a daughter of Wm. B. Alexander — Elizabeth. They had 
six children. The two youngest — Gilbreth and Thomas — 
died in the hospital in Richmond, Va., time of the war, 
1862. Joseph Mc. and J. A. Wilson have families, and are 
fanning. Their sister, Isabella, of more than ordinary tal- 
ents, married Mr. Andrew Parks — died a few years ago in 
Statesville, leaving but three children. Dr. J. M. Wilson, 
another brother, a polished gentleman, who was well edu- 
cated, graduated from Davidson in 1853, took a fine stand 
in class ; taught school a short time, studied medicine and 
graduated in Charleston, S. C, in 1857; did a large and suc- 
cessful practice; was not strong physically, and in 1898 
wound up his course, a successful life. 

Dr. Isaac Wilson's second wife was Miss Rebecca Mc- 
Lean, a daughter of the revolutionary surgeon, Dr. McLean, 
who married a daughter of Maj. John Davidson — Mary (or 
Polly). She had no children. She was a most estimable 
woman, not of a robust constitution, and lived but a short 
time. His third wife was a widow by the name of Mcin- 
tosh, from Alexander county. She was also a lovely 
woman and adorned the society with which she mingled. 
The evening of their lives was spent happily together. 
Having served his generation well, having waited upon the 
people for half a century, having to call him blessed, at 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 151 

peace with all men, he laid down the burden of life with a 
bright hope of happiness in that world beyond the grave. 
He received a very productive farm from his first wife's 
father, twelve miles northwest of Charlotte, west of the 
Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad. Here he built and 
improved the place, and had a most desirable residence. 
Dr. Wilson lived in the best part of the Nineteenth century. 
The great wilderness which existed at the beginning of the 
century, gradually began to give way, houses sprang up, 
fields were cleared, churches and school houses dotted the 
face of the county, industry accomplished wonders in the 
lifetime of one man. Dr. Wilson's life of seventy-five 
years saw wonderful changes in this county, all tending for 
the good of the county ; best of all the changes, was putting 
up the stock in pastures, and turning out the fields. Tim- 
ber was getting scarce as he neared the end of life, and it 
was meet that we should cut off the expense. 

The expense of keeping up miles of fencing and annual 
repairs, amounted to vast sums of money; and our labor 
being freed, there was no other way left for the people to 
do but to keep better stock and less in numbers, and throw 
our cultivated lands outside. After a few years it gave per- 
fect satisfaction. This grand movement in the march of 
civilization took place about the time the old doctor finished 
his course. From 1840 to 1850, the shooting match was 
common for beef or turkey. In this sport Dr. Wilson often 
indulged. He was not only an expert with the rifle, but 
was particularly fond of the sport. At this time the people 
had not learned how to preserve ice, consequently but a 
small piece of beef could be taken care of by one family; 
hence the necessity of having a large number to participate 
in the match. 

Fox hunting was another grand amusement that Dr. Wil- 
son often joined in with great pleasure. He kept a good 
pack of hounds, and any time in the fall or winter months, 
when not engaged professionally, he would indulge in the 
chase. Often he has been seen to lead in the chase, with 



152 HISTORY OF 

half a dozen sportsmen and twenty dogs. When a red fox 
was raised, the chase was kept up for several hours, as that 
species are much longer-winded than the grey. With the 
passing away of Dr. Isaac Wilson, so also the sports he 
loved so well have been forgotten, remembered only by the 
older people. The shooting match is now obsolete, and the 
fox hunting with the winding horn and pack of dogs is an 
exercise of the past. 

WILLIAM MAXWELL, ESQ. 

As a general rule, we do not see or appreciate the true 
worth of our public functionaries until they are removed 
from the sphere of their usefulness. While the memory of 
Esquire Maxwell is still fresh in the minds of the people, it 
is well to rehearse what endeared him to the people of Meck- 
lenburg. 

He passed away on the 26th of October, 1890, after 
having spent a useful life for his family, for the county, and 
for the church. His was a well rounded life, devoted both 
to church and State. 

Esquire Maxwell was in his 82nd year. He was born at 
what is known as the old Maxwell place, seven miles east 
of Charlotte, on September 9, 1809. He was the third son 
of Guy Maxwell, who emigrated to this country from 
County Tyron, Ireland, in 1795. Esquire Maxwell was 
twice married. His first wife was Mary E. Johnston, a 
sister of Nathaniel Johnston. She died a year after her 
marriage. His second wife was Nancy A. Morris, daughter 
of Col. Zebulon Morris, who with three children — Col. D. 
G. Maxwell, W. C. Maxwell, Esq., and Miss Carrie Max- 
well, survive him. Esquire Maxwell was long in public 
life in this county, and his official career was untarnished. 
He was for a long time a member of the old County Court, 
and was also its chairman. In 1862, Mr. William K. Reed 
resigned as clerk of the court and Esquire Maxwell was ap- 
pointed to fill out his unexpired term. That began Esquire 




WILLIAM MAXWELL, ESQ. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 153 

Maxwell's reign as a court house official. He continued 
as clerk of this court until it was abolished in 1868. Then 
he was appointed Register of Deeds to fill the unexpired 
term of F. M. Ross. He was subsequently repeatedly 
elected to that office until December, 1884, when, feeling the 
cares of old age pressing upon him, declined to again be- 
come a candidate, and retired to private life. Esquire Max- 
well was prominent as a church man. For thirty years he 
was an elder in Philadelphia Presbyterian church, and was 
for twenty-five years an elder in the First Presbyterian 
church of Charlotte. 

EUNERAE OF MR. MAXWELE. 

"The funeral services over the remains of the late Wil- 
liam Maxwell were conducted from the First Presbyterian 
church. A very large concourse of people turned out to 
pay the last tribute of respect to the memory of 
the lamented dead, the main body of the church being 
crowded. The body was inclosed in a very handsome cas- 
ket covered in black broadcloth, and the top was hidden 
under a mass of white flowers. Rev. Dr. Miller, the pas- 
tor of the church, preached an impressive sermon, and at 
its conclusion the body was escorted to Elmwood, where it 
was interred. The large crowd present eloquently attested 
the esteem in which the deceased was held by the commu- 
nity." 

THE ElETH REGISTER OE DEEDS. 

Mr. Maxwell was the fifth Register of Deeds of Mecklen- 
burg county, which position he held from 1870 to 1884. 
His immediate predecessor was F. M. Ross, who held the 
office from 1840 to 1870. 

The first register was Robert Harris, who was in office 
from 1763 to 1782. John McKnitt Alexander succeeded 
Mr. Harris, and was register ten years. In 1792 Wm. Bain 
Alexander succeeded his father, John McKnitt Alexander, 



154 HISTORY OF 

and how long he had the position there are no records to 
tell ; but between Wm. Bain Alexander's incumbency and 
that of Mr. Ross, who came into office in 1840, there was a 
time the duties of Register of Deeds was performed by the 
county clerk, or the clerk of the Superior Court. It is evi- 
dent, however, from the great amount of registering done 
by Wm. Bain Alexander, that he held the office many years. 
The registering work done by Mr. Maxwell is in a neat, 
strong, clear hand, and denotes method and accuracy. The 
present register, Mr. Cobb, who succeeded Mr. Maxwell, 
says that the latter was one of the best registers any county 
ever had. He never left anything undone from one day to 
another. He was popular with all classes. 

SUGAR DULIN. 

This account of Sugar Dulin was found among the papers 
of the late Wm. Maxwell, he having been administrator of 
Sugar Dulin. It was written upon foolscap paper and 
doubtless with a quill pen, as that was the only kind then 
in use. Notwithstanding the bad spelling and the extrava- 
gant use of capital letters, the handwriting is plain and of 
systematical form, and in fact will compare favorably with 
the handwriting of the majority of the business men of to- 
day. He was of great individuality. Many of his quaint 
sayings are to this day quoted by the old people in the neigh- 
borhood in which he lived. He often remarked that he had 
more sense than King Solomon, for Solomon did not know 
for whom he was laying up riches, but that "he knew that 
he was laying them up for a set of d — d fools." It is said 
that Sugar Dulin' s father. Thomas Dulin. was so fond of 
sugar and rice that he gave the name of Sugar to one son 
and rice to the other. Rice Dulin moved in early life to 
Charleston, S. C, where he accumulated a considerable 
amount of property. Sugar Dulin came to Mecklenburg 
county and bought a large body of land ten miles east of 
Charlotte, where he lived and died about 1845. He was 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 55 

a member of Philadelphia Presbyterian church, and is buried 
in the old cemetery at that church, twelve miles east of 
Charlotte. As the autobiography states. Sugar Dulin had 
a great many descendants, and in fact, they were so thickly 
settled near Philadelphia church that the section was 
called Dulintown. The Dulins were all noted for their 
physical courage, and while they did not have the reputation 
of being "bullies." yet if any man was looking for a fight, 
he could alwavs be accommodated by a Dulin; and in ante- 
bellum days at almost every session of our old county courts, 
some of the Dulins were charged with assault and battery, 
but one of the name has never been known to have been in- 
dicted for a felony. 

In the war between the States there were seven Dulins in 
Capt. I). G. Maxwell's company (H. Thirty-fifth North 
Carolina Regiment), and but two of them came home after 
the surrender, and they both were wounded. 

The life movements of Sugar Dulin from birth to extreme 
old age : 

He lived in Mecklenburg from 1791 till his death, which 
was almost a. half century. He was a law-abiding man and 
a good citizen. This brief account is given in his own spell- 
ing, and distribution of capitals : 

N. B. — I was P>orn in onslow County, No. Carolina, the 
23rd Day of April, 1763 as my parents sd any How Before 
I mind & they Settled within Two miles of where Trentown 
in Jones County stands, & they sd Before I mind they moved 
Ten miles Higher up within one mile of old Danel Shines & 
there I was Rai:ed & lived until I went to the army & never 
father from Home than to Nubern until I went to the army 
& then I made it my Home until I was married, and then I 
lived in sd County until 1 791. I Removed to Mecklenburg 
County on the place I now live on. Now this the ist Day 
of April, 1835 against the 21st of this Instant I have lived 
in Mclinburg County, No. Carolina, Forty Two years, &c. 



I56 HISTORY OF 

Done with my own Hand & the leading men of this 
County may Due the Ballance as to my Carretter &c. 

Sugar Dulin. 

I Have lived with one wife going on 5 1 years & we Have 
Raised Five Sons & five Daughters & we this Day counted 
our Grand Children & we make them 94 that our Sons & 
Daughters has had & we Counted 13 great grand Children. 
This the 20th of March, 1837, Sugar Duun. 

These people lived in Philadelphia congregation, owned a 
large tract of land, raised fine crops of grain, hogs, cattle, 
horses and sheep, were all round good citizens, and raised 
a numerous posterity; were ever ready to contend for the 
right. Not one of the name was ever indicted for a disrepu- 
table transaction ; never gave an insult, but was quick to re- 
sent one. 

DR. SAMUEL B. WATSON. 

Dr. S. B. Watson, of Philadelphia neighborhood, in this 
county, passed away at his home on the 24th of August, 
1895, in his 90th year. He practiced medicine sixty-seven 
years. The oldest practitioner in the State, venerable in 
years and in the service of his fellow man. 

Dr. Watson was born in York county, S. C, December 
17, 1805, and with his father — Robert Watson — moved to 
Charlotte in early boyhood. He graduated from the Charles- 
ton Medical College in 1828, and with little interruption, 
has practiced his profession until within a few days of his 
death. 

Dr. Watson was a plain, blunt man, simple in all his 
habits and temperate in all things. 

He possessed in a marked degree the qualifications of the 
true physician. With untiring devotion to his profession 
and zeal for the relief of the sick and suffering, he faithfully 
and successfully practiced medicine over a large territory of 




DR. SAMUEL BROWN WATSON. 



PUE 



TILDE.N FOUNDATIONS. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 57 

rough country for three score and seven yeais, and many 
to-day of the fourth and fifth generations of his patrons are 
ready to rise up and call him blessed. Dr. Watson was pos- 
sessed with a remarkably retentive memory. He could re- 
call with vividness the diseases and remedies of more 
than half a century and held tenaciously to many principles 
and practices in medicines he obtained by personal, practi- 
cal experience at the bedside. He never compromised the 
truth, nor became the apologist of error. He had the can- 
dor to tell his most intimate friends their faults. But few 
persons have approached so near the centenarian in years 
with so few blemishes in his character considered either as 
a professional man, or as a Christian; and we doubt not 
that at the last summons from the Great Physician to come 
up higher, he received the welcome plaudit : "Well done good 
and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." 

REV. DR. T. H. PRITCHARD. 

One of the most devoted and conscientious pastors that 
was ever in Charlotte. His father was a mechanic, and 
worked at his trade here for many years before the Civil 
War. The doctor was loved by all the people of the city; 
particularly by the children. He could be grave and sedate 
as occasion demanded, or be jovial at the festive board, 
and always the favorite with boys. He was immensely pop- 
ular. He appeared as much at ease in his neighbor's pulpit 
as in his own; so that wherever a guest, he had a royal wel- 
come. He died in Wilmington, and when the train bearing 
his remains arrived in Charlotte, the people turned out to do 
him honor without regard to denomination. On May 24, 
1896, the last sad tribute of respect was paid to the deceased. 
The First Baptist church was exquisitely draped, and flow- 
ers — the symbol of the Resurrection — were in profusion. 

Dr. Taylor, president of Wake Forest College, was the 
first to lay his tribute of affection as it found vent in words, 
on the bier of his life-long friend. He expressed gratitude 



I58 HISTORY OF 

for the man as he was; for the triumph of his life and death. 
"He was a many-sided man,'" said he, "and a man who 
would have been a gentleman even if he had not been a Chris- 
tian; as it was, he was a Christian gentleman. He was a 
man who never outgrew the child, nor child-like simplicity. 
He was genial, sweet and pure. A current of humor flowed 
continuously from his heart, and a remarkable thing about 
it was that it was always pure. I never heard him tell any- 
thing that could not be said before the most modest woman. 
He was one of the most useful men in the South. The State 
owes him a debt of gratitude it can never pay for the cam- 
paign he made in the cause of education when president of 
Wake Forest College. I thank God for his life work and 
his victory." 

Dr. Preston followed Dr. Taylor, and spoke simply and 
yet tenderly and beautifully of the deceased. He said : "It 
is given to few to have such a funeral as this. Perhaps 
many of you will never see such another. I will not refer 
to the great deeds O'f Dr. Pritchard, but to one peculiar some- 
thing about him which always struck me as forcible, and 
that was the large number of warm personal friends he had. 
Had such a wide and loving heart, and expressed his af- 
fection so genuinely. What would have seemed insincere 
in others was perfectly genuine and correct in Dr. Pritchard. 
No man ever had more friends, and that is the highest 
tribute that can be paid. I come with a special message and 
tribute from the First Presbyterian church to lay on his bier, 
for he was a child O'f our own Sunday School. He used 
often to say to me with a twinkle in his eye, "I know the 
Shorter Catechism, for I learned it under those old trees," 
pointing to the church yard. Another remarkable thing 
about this man was his great power of attracting children. 
He kept young, and made himself so attractive to children 
that they all loved him and to-day there would be a thousand 
children in this audience if there was room for them. I 
want the children to always think of him by the familiar 
name they called him on the streets. Dr. Preston closed by 



)RK 

PUBLIC LIBR. 



TILDEN FOUN. 




R. D. ALEXANDER, ESQ 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 159 

urging the members of Tryon Street church to honor the 
dead pastor by doing what he would have them do. 

Rev. Dr. Bowman paid a most feeling tribute to his de- 
ceased brother. "A great man," said he, "lies fallen in our 
midst. He was great in the way the Master was great. We 
find in this man characteristics which were Christ-like. I 
am here to bear witness of his faithfulness, of his genial, 
kind heart and great efficiency. I have had the blessed ex- 
perience of knowing consolation and comfort from him." 
May God give us grace to follow him and spend our ener- 
gies as he did for the glory of God and the good of our fel- 
low men. 

Rev. L. C. Hoffman and Rev. Atkins and Rev. Turrentine 
also took part in the solemn services. Buried in Elmwood. 

ROBERT DAVIDSON ALEXANDER. 

To write of persons that you have known intimately for 
one-fourth of a century, it is almost like communing with 
the dead. Mr. Alexander was the third one of the fourteen 
children of Wm. B. Alexander, and a grandson of John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander. The subject of this sketch was born in 
the old homestead, on the 9th day of August, 1796; was 
given a common school education that was built upon and 
improved during his whole life. He was not so fond of the 
fox chase, deer hunting, and the sports the young men en- 
gaged in; but rather would devote his spare moments to 
reading the New York Christian Observer, the Intelligencer, 
the great organ of the Whig party, and kindred literature. 
He was a well informed man on the great topics of the day, 
both civil and religious, and was fond of discussing im- 
portant questions. It always afforded him pleasure to at- 
tend church, courts, presbyteries and synods. He was a 
Justice of the Peace for about forty years. In his day a man 
was appointed for life, or good behavior, unless he should 
desire to resign. He did pretty much all the business in his 
section of the county. For many years he was a member of 



l6o HISTORY OF 

the county court; emphatically the peoples' court; many 
were the conveniences, in the first place it cost but a trifle, 
all small offences could be disposed of. This court could 
not try civil cases where large amounts were involved; but 
in criminal cases, except murder and arson and probably 
some others, they meeted out justice without quams of con- 
science. Whipping, branding, stocks and pillory were the 
usual punishments, and the man so punished generally left 
the state. 

He generally kept a fine orchard of all kinds of fruit : also 
kept enough of bees to furnish all the honey his family 
would consume. 

Mr. Alexander married the youngest daughter of Rev. 
S. C. Caldwell, Abagail Bain, in 1829. He built a home 
ten miles from Charlotte, one mile northeast from the old 
homestead, where John McKnitt lived, and exercised such 
a healthful influence upon the patriot cause during and after 
the Revolutionary war. He built up a handsome compe- 
tency from a well tended farm. Before the days of rail- 
roads, when everybody traveled horseback, or in a private 
conveyance, he was never known to refuse lodging to a 
traveler. He did not keep a "Hostlery," but took in and en- 
tertained people as a Christian duty. He had five children 
who lived to be grown ; the oldest son, Rev. S. C. Alexander, 
D. D., is now living in Pine Bluff, Ark. ; is an evangelist of 
the Presbyterian Church, has labored in many of the South- 
ern States, and consequently is well known. A sister of his, 
Agnes, married Dr. W. B. Fewell, of South Carolina; raised 
an interesting family. She died in 1897, aged 65. She was 
an excellent Christian woman. Dr. J. B. Alexander prac- 
ticed medicine in the northern part of Mecklenburg for the 
third of a century — was a surgeon in the Confederate army 
— in 1890 moved to Charlotte. In 1858 he married Miss 
Annie W. Lowrie, of this county. She died February 27, 
1893. Bore him six children — but four are now living. Their 
second daughter was the first woman south of the Potomac 
that ever graduated in medicine — Dr. Annie L. Alexander. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. l6l 

She is located in Charlotte, and has succeeded equal to ex- 
pectations. W. D. Alexander, Esq., lives in his father's old 
residence, and represents his father in his magisterial capac- 
ity, is an excellent farmer and wields a good influence in 
both church and State. His first wife was a daughter of 
Dr. J. G. M. Ramsay, of Tennessee. She left four children, 
who are now grown ; the daughter married a Mr. Johnston, 
of Lincoln county; Dr. James R. Alexander has lately 
moved to Charlotte. The two younger sons, William and 
Lattimer, are both in Charlotte engaged in profitable work. 
Both are nice, well behaved young gentlemen. The young- 
est daughter of R. D. Alexander, Lottie, died soon after her 
education was completed in 1878. 

Mrs. Abagail Bain Alexander was more than an ordinary 
personage; her parentage, and the exalted positions of her 
brothers in the legal profession, one, Walter P. Caldwell, of 
Greensboro, and Septimus Caldwell, of Granda, Miss. 
Both brothers were great lights in the profession of law; 
five brothers of no mean ability, as ministers of the Gospel, 
who early in life moved to the Southwest, where they exer- 
cised an influence for good that will extend through many 
generations. Mrs. Alexander, when married, took her 
youngest brother, Walter, then a small boy but four or six 
years old, and raised him as if her own child, his parents 
being dead. She was first in all cases of sickness or dis- 
tress ; she was welcome in every house where gloom had set- 
tled. She was broad in charity to other denominations, 
particularly to the Methodists. She often worshipped at old 
Bethasda. The people there were poor and ignorant, and 
had all confidence in her, and applied to her for help in their 
spiritual perplexities. This was a mutual pleasure for her 
to give and they to receive. 

The young people were fond of her society ; always cheer- 
ful and happy, there was a kind of contagion that young 
folks were fond of. 

She was fond of horseback riding, and all her visiting 
among the sick or well in the neighborhood was on horse- 



1 62 HISTORY OF 

back. In the early years of the century all classes rode 
horseback. Women thought it no hardship to ride six to 
eight miles to church, and carry a baby on their lap. When 
the distance was not so great, they would take one also on 
behind, tied to the mother with a large handkerchief, or 
with a hank of yarn. The old-fashioned gig was used by 
the well-to-do classes. In the country many persons walked 
to church and rested their horses. Mrs. Alexander survived 
her husband nearly twenty years. In 1889 she entered her 
rest, being 80 years old. Her childrens' children were old 
enough and in after years with a full heart, called her 
blessed. 

HON. R. P. WARING. 

Capt. Waring was a native Virginian; came of the old 
English stock that believed it as essential to cultivate the 
mind as to train the body. His first wife was a daughter of 
Lewis D. Henry, of Raleigh, N. C. In 1850 he first moved 
to Charlotte; just before this he obtained license to practice 
law, and opened a law office here to grow up with the people, 
and to identify himself with the best interests of the county 
and State. Smallpox broke out here in 1851, when many 
people were affected, some died, and terror seized the whole 
county. The terrible scourge breaking out the next year 
after Capt. Waring' s appearance, has served as a marker in 
the last half of the Nineteenth century. The disease has 
not been wanting here for the last six months, and the 
most nervous people have not lost an hour's sleep on ac- 
count of the epidemic, it is so mild. 

Capt. Waring commenced editing the Democrat in June, 
1852. He was a success as an editor. If he had put all 
his time to his paper instead of attempting to run a law 
office at the same time, his success would have been com- 
plete. He was elected county attorney in 1855, and gave 
universal satisfaction. He was made elector in 1856 on the 
National Democratic platform for the election of James 
Buchanan president. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 163 

In 1859, he was elected county attorney the second time, 
which showed how popular he was before the war. He 
soon resigned his office of county attorney to accept a consul- 
ship in the Danish West Indian Islands, which important 
position he held until war had been declared against the 
South, when he immediately came home, barely escaping 
arrest in New York, as he had to come that way to get 
home, and render an account of his consulship. 

When he reached home his country was one vast camp, 
one side determined to subdue and conquer the South; the 
South as fully determined to defend that which was achieved 
by our forefathers in the Eighteenth century. He raised 
a company, went to the front and fought gallantly for the 
cause of the South. When the war was over, he came back 
home and edited the Times. He was a bold and fearless 
writer, criticised the reconstruction plans by which they in- 
tended to humiliate our people; he denounced the govern- 
ment they inaugurated as a "military despotism" instead 
of a republic. For this crime (f) he was arrested in the 
dead hours of the night, carried off to Raleigh, tried by a 
military court, sentenced to pay a fine of $300.00 within 
five days, or be imprisoned for six months. This fact and 
others of a similar nature could be narrated, that were per- 
petrated on our people six months after the surrender, when 
we thought the civil courts were enough to take cognizance 
of the infraction of laws. 

The county had every confidence in Capt. Waring, and 
had him frequently to head the ticket for the Legislature — 
twice in the House of Commons and four or more times in 
the Senate. He was a man of ability and unswerving hon- 
esty and patriotism. 

For a number of years he was judge of the Inferior Court. 
He held the position until this court was done away with. 
During the entire time he gave great satisfaction, and the 
rapid dispatch of business. His services were secured to 
canvass the county for the contribution, or the taking of 
stock in the Charlotte and Atlanta Railroad, by Mecklen- 



164 HISTORY OF 

burg county. The wisdom of building this road has been 
amply shown by the benefit it has been to the city. In every 
position that Capt. Waring has occupied, his services have 
always been endorsed by the people of the county. 

ADAM BREVARD DAVIDSON. 

Mr. Davidson was well known not only in Mecklenburg 
county, but all through Western North Carolina as the fore- 
most farmer in this part of the State. He was also well 
known in South Carolina and Georgia, for his fine cattle, 
especially for his herd of Devons and Durhams. 

Until the war between the States, Mr. Davidson was prob- 
ably the most wealthy man in the county. When a young 
man he married a daughter of Mr. John (commonly Jack) 
Springs, of South Carolina. His father gave him the large 
and elegant brick dwelling house built by Maj. John David- 
son in 1787. Here Mr. A. B. Davidson lived and raised a 
large family, and accumulated a large estate. He was very 
liberal in his support of Hopewell church and all benevolent 
objects. He was always an ardent Whig, was a firm be- 
liever in the doctrine of internal improvements; subscribed 
largely to building railroads, had large amounts in cotton 
mills in Augusta, Ga., contributed of his wealth to build 
the A. T. & O. Railroad, and since the war crippled every 
one so severely, he urged the county to vote $300,000 to 
build the Atlanta road and rebuild the Statesville road. This 
road bed was taken up — that is the iron and cross ties — to 
build the road from Greensboro to Danville, which was 
deemed a necessity during the war. Mr. Davidson lost by 
the war, and by security for his friends, four-fifths of his 
estate. He was worth prior to 1865, a half million of dol- 
lars. He was a very busy man, as he always looked after 
his own affairs. He employed overseers on his plantations 
where everything was raised or made that was used on his 
farm. Farming was very different fifty years ago from 
what it is now. Whatever was necessary to feed the stock, 




A. B. DAVIDSON, ESQ. 



PUBLIC LIBRAE 



ASTOR. 

T1LD eN ; 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 65 

the hands and the family, to clothe and shoe the family, was 
raised on the farm. Every farmer of any consequence had 
one of their slaves for a shoemaker, one a carpenter and a 
blacksmith, a woman for a weaver. So nothing was to buy 
but salt, sugar, coffee, molasses, etc. Store bills amounted 
to but little, and when bread and meat had to be bought, it 
was looked for in the county. A doctor's bill could not 
well be avoided; but the doctors in those days had some 
conscience, and were as successful then as fifty years later. 

Mr. Davidson did not have the advantage that his younger 
brothers had in the way of education; but he had a large 
amount of common sense, listened to what other people ex- 
pressed, then drew his own conclusions and was rarely 
wrong. 

Some twenty years before he died, he became thoroughly 
disgusted with free labor. He moved to Charlotte and quit 
the farm. He owned quite an interest in city property, and 
confined himself to improving his property here and rented 
the farms not given to his children. Before he died his 
noted old home, "Rural Hill," was burned; the old home- 
stead and surroundings were not kept in the repair of forty 
years ago; the old place is much changed, and in fact bears 
but a faint resemblance to what it was when Mr. Davidson 
looked over some three thousand acres of land, and slaves 
enough to keep it in splendid repair, and have the large 
pastures filled with mares and colts, and the finest of cattle, 
sheep and swine. Our old civilization has been swept away, 
and we are living under the new order of things. 

Mr. Davidson's mother was Sally Brevard, a daughter of 
Adam Brevard, who was a brother of Dr. Ephraim Brevard, 
the draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. A story 
is told that one morning after a hard rain, Maj. John Da- 
vidson called his son Jacky (who in after years was the 
father of Mr. A. B. Davidson), and told him: "While the 
ground is too wet to plow, go and get your horse saddled 
and get yourself dressed and go over to Adam Brevard's 
and court Sally; I think she will make you a good wife. 



1 66 HISTORY OF 

Now you have no time to fool about it ; the ground will be 
dry enough to plow by to-morrow." Jacky went like a duti- 
ful son, and Sally acquiesced in the proposition. They lived 
a long time, led a useful life and raised a large family of 
children. The subject of this sketch being the eldest, he 
was born March 19, 1808, and died July 4, 1896. 

In the long ago it was not uncommon for families to 
nave private burying grounds before churches were so 
numerous, or rather before any were built. Maj. John Da- 
vidson had a private plat a little west of the front of his 
house, probably started before the one at Hopewell church. 
Nearly the whole of the Davidson family are entombed 
there. Maj. Davidson's sister, Mary, who married John 
Price, is buried at Baker's graveyard, about five miles to- 
wards Beattie's Ford. It is overgrown with large trees of 
many varieties. Some old stones, grey rock, covered with 
moss, render the letters unintelligible. The old resting 
place is now forgotten by all save a few who live near it. 
Two desolate places for so important personages to occupy, 
Maj. John Davidson, a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, at one place, and his sister at another. 

PATRICK HARTY. 

Patrick Harty and wife came from Ireland to America in 
the year 1820. They crossed the Atlantic ocean in a sailing 
vessel and landed at Charleston, South Carolina, where they 
stayed but a short time, when he was induced to move into 
the up country. The neighborhood is now, as then known, 
as Coddle Creek, where there is a church by that name. He 
worked there at his trader — brick mason and plasterer. He 
did not stay there long as work was more plentiful in Meck- 
lenburg, so he moved his family to Charlotte and worked 
around through the county. 

The people in the eastern part of the county, in Clear 
Creek Township, employed Mr. Harty to build Philadel- 
phia church. It is a fine structure for that period. The 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 167 

people of that section were skillful and industrious farmers, 
therefore they put up a building in keeping with their ability. 
Mr. Harty never put up a shoddy job. Mecklenburg county 
employed him, as an expert, to look after the building of the 
court house on West Trade street, in 1845; but the county 
has disposed of it for a new one that is better and more up- 
to-date, on South Try on street. Mr. Harty became 
thoroughly identified with our people. He raised and edu- 
cated his children here at home, three boys and four girls, all 
useful citizens. His son William, for a number of years, 
clerked for various merchants. In 1846 he clerked for Hen- 
derson & Smith, at Davidson College. He was a popular 
salesman and efficient in his work. Mr. John Harty was a 
carriage maker in the town, did excellent work. For a long 
time his shop was on the corner of College and Trade. This 
was before the cotton market was developed, when corn 
and wheat was grown up to Harty's shops. Harty owned 
the lands contiguous to his shop, and was at that time con- 
sidered of little value only as farm lands. 

Mr. Harty made vehicles upon honor. If he sold a buggy 
and harness, he would warrant it to stand three years, but 
he would charge from $150 to $200. His buggies were 
known to last, with ordinary care, from ten to fifteen years; 
but in those days they were not in every day use. 

Mr. Harty was at one time in partnership with Mr. 
Charles Wilson. They were the principal carriage makers 
ii? all this section of country. James Harty began clerking 
in a store while a mere boy. He proved an expert in this 
line of business, and he followed it until he could operate a 
store of his own. He probably had the first china store in 
the city. He married a daughter of Dr. Frank Ross, and 
raised an interesting family. He is one of the old land- 
marks of the town. He has hosts of friends, and is often 
appealed to for information relating to events that occurred 
fifty or more years ago. 



1 68 HISTORY OF 

THE CAMPBELL FAMILY OF MECKLENBURG. 

Duglas Campbell came from Scotland in 1 720, and settled 
in Pennsylvania, where he had many descendants. It is not 
known in what year Alexander Campbell came to this 
county, but it is certain that he came prior to 1775. He en- 
tered a large tract of land south of Hickory Grove church. 
Alexander Wallis now lives on a part of it, six or seven 
miles east of Charlotte. Alexander Campbell had two sons, 
John and Isaac, and one daughter, who moved West. Isaac 
Campbell was born in 1780, and died in 1854. He was 
twice married, his first wife being Catharine Orr. She died 
before she reached middle life, in 1820. Isaac Campbell's 
second wife — whom he married twenty years after the death 
of his first — was a Miss Johnston, who was the mother of 
our countyman, Mr. Joe Lee Campbell, of Clear Creek 
Township. John Campbell had quite a large family — John, 
Frank, Mark, Henry, Robert and Joab, and two daughters, 
Abigail marrying a Mr. Taylor, and Dorcas married a 
Smith, the mother of ex-Sheriff Smith. 

Isaac Campbell's first wife — Catherine Orr — had a 
daughter, Lydia Campbell, who was the mother of our ven- 
erable friend and fine soldier, Julius P. Alexander, in the 
Confederate army. Frank Campbell was a most efficient 
elder in Hopewell church. In the early part of the century 
the Campbell's were among the most active supporters of 
the church at Sugar Creek, bore an active part in all educa- 
tional enterprises, and whatever would tend to build the in- 
terests of the county. 

w. F. PHIFER. 

William Fulenwider Phifer was a prominent citizen 
of Charlotte, from 1850 until his death, 30th December, 
1882. He was born in Cabarrus county February 15, 1809, 
and was a descendant of Martin Phifer, who came from 
Berne, Switzerland, and was a member of the Provenciai 




W. F. PHIFER. 



;g §SS 






FO 



UNO/ 



T 'ON S 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. l6o, 

Assembly at New Bern, and is honorably mentioned in the 
Colonial Records. 

MARTIN PHIFER. 

Martin Phifer had three sons : John, who was one of the 
signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; 
Caleb, who represented Cabarrus county almost continu- 
ously for many years in the Legislature, and Martin Phifer, 
who was a Captain of Horse from Mecklenburg county in 
the Revolutionary Army, and is spoken of by other writers 
as Colonel Phifer. He had extensive grants of land in Tert- 
nessee, upon which some of his descendants still live. 

President George Washington, in his Southern tour, 
stayed over night at Cold Water, the home of Colonel Mar- 
tin Phifer. 

George Phifer was at one time Clerk of the Court of Ca- 
barrus county, and he was the son of Martin Phifer, and the 
father of the subject of this sketch. 

W. F. Phifer, as he signed himself, was a planter, this 
being the occupation of all his ancestors, though he began 
life in Cabarrus as a merchant and was associated with the 
late R. W. Allison. Esq. 

He completed his education at Hampden-Sidney College, 
Va., and his frequent trips to Northern markets, most of the 
way on horseback, broadened his views and observation. 

He was first married to Sarah, daughter of Colonel Rob- 
ert Smith, who died, leaving one daughter, Sarah Smith 
Phifer, who married John L. Morehead, Esq. 

He then became associated with his brothers, and moved 
to Alabama, and engaged in cotton planting for several 
years. On the ioth of April, 1849, he married Mary Martha 
White, daughter of W. E. White, Esq., of Fort Mill, S. C, 
and soon thereafter he brought back his slaves and farming 
equipments, and settled not far from where his life began. 
He revolutionized the cultivation of cotton in this section of 
the oountrv. 



I70 HISTORY OF 

Near and in Charlotte he purchased a tract of land known 
as the Lucky estate, and other lands, and predicted, in spite 
of the jeers of his friends, a great future for this town, and 
said he, "In later years there will be houses and streets 
where my plantation now lies, for," he continued, "the pros- 
pect for a city is better than any I saw at Atlanta, on my 
horseback trips to Alabama." 

The house now owned by Mr. Win Holt he built, and 
most of the brick was hauled from Cabarrus county. This 
house was prominently situated in a five-acre square, 
bounded bv Trvon street and College street, Twelfth street 
and College avenue, afterwards called Phifer avenue, by 
the Board of Aldermen, in his honor. "I will not live," Mr. 
Phifer said, "to enjoy much of the refreshing shade, yet I 
will plant trees and others may enjoy them." And these 
beautiful oaks stand now as a monument of his thoughtf ill- 
ness. 

He donated half of the land upon which now stands the 
Presbyterian College for Women, and for this he was given 
a complimentary share of stock in the school, and this stock 
was afterwards donated by his heirs to the present corpora- 
tion. 

He had great love for order and the beautiful, and em- 
ployed a landscape gardener to beautify his yard and lay off 
the walks, and in this yard are found the most beautiful of 
the native trees. The color effect of the foliage of the 
Autumn was taken into consideration. 

He disliked crooked lines and gave his land to straighten 
a street on his neighbor's side. The regularity of that part 
of the city known as Mechanicsville, is in striking contrast 
to some other parts of the city. 

At the beginning of the Civil War, he was a man of con- 
siderable fortune, which he had amassed in farming; and, be 
it said to his praise, almost every slave he owned remained 
with him for the first two years of their freedom and always 
spoke of him with love and respect. 

He was always a Democrat in politics, and was an enthu- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. \J\ 

siastic Southerner. Though too old for service in the war, 
his home was always open to the hungry soldiers, who in 
the latter part of the war filed in almost daily to have their 
wants supplied. Mr. Phifer was a man of generous im- 
pulses and was loyal to his friends. 

Mr. Green Caldwell was superintendent of the United 
States Mint, and one Sunday the Charlotte Grays captured 
the Mint. This caused much comment by the people, as 
they went to church. This came near being very disastrous 
to Mr. Phifer, for when the war closed, he was sued by the 
Government, as Mr. Caldwell's bondsman, and judgment 
was obtained for $25,000.00. However, through the aid 
of powerful friends, a relief bill was procured through Con- 
gress. Otherwise the remnant of his estate would have been 
swept away. 

General Beauregard had his headquarters (and many of 
his staff were with him) for more than a month at his house, 
and though there was much confusion incident to the tur- 
moils of war, yet neither he nor his wife ever complained, 
but accepted the situation gracefully and did all in their 
power to make the time agreeable for the warriors, and 
often the music of the evening was hushed to 'hear read some 
dispatch foreshadowing the fall of the Confederacy. 

The headquarters of the army moved to Greensboro 1 , and 
President Davis came to Charlotte and Mr. George A. Tren- 
holm and wife became the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Phifer. 

The last full meeting of the Confederate Cabinet (and, 
in the recollection of the writer, all were present) was held 
in the West room up stairs in the house now owned by Mr. 
Wm. Holt. 

The cause of its meeting there was the fact that Mr. Tren- 
holm, the Secretary of the Treasury, was ill and confined to 
bed. Mr. Trenholm tendered his resignation, which was ac- 
cepted. President Davis then moved south and another 
meeting was held near Fort Mill, S. C, under an old sassa- 
fras tree, in front of the old home place of W. E. White. 
Esq., (the father of Mrs. Phifer), and which Captain S. E. 



172 HISTORY OF 

White, a brother, declares that this was the last Confederate 
Cabinet meeting. 

By the second marriage of Mr. Phifer, to Mary Martha 
White, there are seven living children. Sons, William 
White, Robert Smith, George Martin and Edward White. 
Daughters, Mrs. M. C. Quinn, Miss Cordelia White and 
Mrs. Wm. G. Durant. — Contributed by W. W . Phifer. 

COL. ZKB. MORRIS. 

Col. Zkbulon Morris was born April 23, 1789, and died 
May 1, 1872. He was the youngest son of William Morris 
and Elizabeth Ford Morris, the daughter of John Ford, 
Esq., one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of 
Independence. He was born, lived and died on the same 
plantation, a part of the old Ford estate, ten miles east of 
Charlotte, on the Lawyers' Road. He was married to 
Martha Rea, the daughter of the Hon. John Rea, January 
13, 1814. He was a remarkable man in a great many re- 
spects, as gentle and amiable as a woman and as bold and 
fearless as a lion. As deputy sheriff of this county, on one 
occasion he arrested a desperado, who swore that he would 
kill the first man who attempted to arrest him. Col. Morris 
handed his pistol to a man who had accompanied him and 
advanced unarmed on the desperado, who threw down his 
gun and said. "Zeb Morris, you are the only man who could 
have arrested me alive." 

Col. Morris owned a great many slaves, to whom he was 
very kind, and they showed their attachment to him by re- 
maining on his plantation after the surrender. He owned 
about 1,500 acres of land, was a lover of fine horses and a 
most graceful rider. In fact, it was a common saying — 
when anyone rode well — "he sits in the saddle like Zeb Mor- 
ris." 

Below are two obituary notices, one by Rev. R. Z. John- 
ston and the other by the late Wm. Yates, editor of the Char- 
lotte Democrat : 







! 










If - 





COL. ZEBULON MORRIS. 



PUJ 



TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 173 

This man's death will carry sadness and sorrow to many 
hearts. He was an old man — 83 years and 7 days — and it 
would be difficult to point to another whose death would 
sadden so many homes in our community. He lived fifty- 
eight years and three months with the wife of his youth, who 
survives him at the advanced age of 76 years. He raised 
a large family, and had 46 grandchildren, 26 of whom are 
living, and 18 great grand-children, 15 of whom are living. 
Children and grand-children live in this county and adjoin- 
ing counties, in easy communication with the old family res- 
idence. Great was the lamentation to-day over one so 
agreeably connected in these dear and tender relationships, 
when his familiar face was seen for the last time, cold in 
death, in the spacious family hall, and 

" The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave ; 
The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the worm," 

told us how "the fashion of this world passeth away." 

That dear old home — the dearest spot on earth to so many 
loving hearts, the scene of so much pleasure in former days 
— is dismantled. Though the day has been one of the live- 
liest of the season, even the beautiful lawn around the man- 
sion and the venerable oaks that shade the old spring, and 
the orchards, seemed to put on mourning, and the birds 
seemed to sing 

" How vain are all things here below, 
How false and yet how fair! 
Each pleasure has its poison too, 
And every sweet a snare." 

Col. Morris lived to look upon strange faces in familiar 
places, and to feel like a lonely representative of a former 
generation. That venerable, faithful and useful man, and 
his life-long family physician, in whose arms he may almost 
be said to have fallen asleep, Dr. Samuel Watson, and a 
few others, whose locks are white and whose infirmities are 
multiplied, are all that remain to tell us of better days. O 
how can those who knew him afford to give him up ! 



174 HISTORY OF 

" Our dearest joys, and nearest friends, 
The partners of our blood, 
How they divide our wavering minds, 
And leave but half for God !" 

He was a successful man; though living on thin land, 
rothing ever went lean and hungry about him. Constant 
in his friendship, liberal to the poor, just in his dealings, 
true to his engagements, kind to his children and servants, 
tender in his feelings, and generous with his hospitality, he 
was a gentleman always and everywhere. His piety was 
unassuming, but deep, and the Philadelphia Church has 
buried a constant and substantial supporter. 

The ist day of May, 1872, will long be a melancholy day 
to pastor and people. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and 
He shall sustain thee." May this promise moderate the sor- 
rows of the mourners in this melancholy event, till "they 
that weep be as though they wept not;" and "God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes ; and there shall be no more 
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any 
pain." R. Z. J. ' 

DIED. 

In this county, on the ist instant, after a short illness, Col. 
Zebulon Morris, in the 83rd year of his age. Up to within 
a few weeks of his death Col. Morris was a man of extra- 
ordinary physical and mental ability. He raised a large 
number of children, men and women of respectability and 
worth, and lived to see them all settled in life, and his grand- 
children and great-grand-children starting out in the jour- 
ney of this world's trials and crosses. Col. Zeb Morris was 
mo ordinary man, as the writer of this paragraph knows. 
He was faithful and true as a man and friend, as an old-line 
Democrat and patriot, and as a consistent member of the 
Presbyterian Church, always a firm friend of the right and 
an enemy of wrong doing in any shape. He leaves a large 
number of relatives and friends in this county to mourn the 
death of a true man and a good citizen. Mecklenburg 



; 













GEN. WM. H. NEAL. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 175 

county 'has, indeed, lost a devoted husband of 55 years 
loving intercourse. Peace to the good old man's ashes. 

Editor Democrat. 

gen. wm. h. neae. 

Gen. William H. Neal was born in the extreme south- 
ern part of Mecklenburg county, near the Catawba river, 
in the year 1799, and died in the year 1889. He died at his 
residence within a few miles of the place of his birth. Gen. 
Neal was married in 1819 to Miss Hannah G. Alexander, 
and from this marriage were born the following children, 
namely : 

Samuel Wallace Neal, now deceased, who lived and died 
in Indian Territory; Dr. Thomas C. Neal, who was a well 
known physician of Mecklenburg county and who died in 
1901 ; Susan Emily Neal, who married the late Rev. Walter 
W. Pharr, and who is now living in Charlotte; Mary Ade- 
line Neal, who married the late Capt. M. H. Peoples, who is 
now dead ; Nancy Elvira Neal, who married the late Robert 
W. McDowell and is now deceased; W. B. Neal. now de- 
ceased; Louisa A. Neal, who married the late Rev. J. B. 
Watt, and is now living in Steele Creek township; and Pres- 
ton A. Neal, who is now living in Rock Hill, S. C. 

Gen. Neal's first wife died a number of years before his 
death, and he afterwards married Mrs. Martha D. William- 
son, who survived him, but there were no children born of 
this marriage. Gen. Neal was always one of the leading 
and prominent citizens of Mecklenburg county. 

For many years he was a general of the old Ante-Bellum 
Militia, and it was in this way that he acquired the title by 
which be was always known. He was a County Commis- 
sioner for a number of years and always took an active in- 
terest in public affairs. He was one of the very first in 
this State to engage in the cotton manufacturing business 
and for a number of years before the war he successfully 
operated a cotton mill on the Catawba river near his home. 



I76 HISTORY OF 

He was a devoted member of Steele Creek Presbyterian 
Church, and always took an especial pride in his church. 

As soon as he reached manhood he married and built him 
a home on a tract of land adjoining- his birthplace, and it 
was here that he spent all the years of his long and useful 
life. He was always interested in anything pertaining to 
machinery and during his whole life was engaged in operat- 
ing a mill of some kind or other ; before and during the war 
operating a cotton factory and a flour mill, and after the 
war operating a flour mill. 

In an unostentatious manner he spent his life and he was 
a man of highest character, standing and integrity in his 
county and community. 

THK GARRISON FAMILY. 

Joseph Garrison was the progenitor of all of the name 
in the county. He came from Pennsylvania in the latter 
part of the Eighteenth century. He entered a large amount 
of land in Mallard Creek section, and divided it out among 
the early settlers, in order to have neighbors. 

Mr. Garrison built the first bridge over Mallard creek, be- 
tween Mallard Creek church and Back Creek church. The 
descendants show a piece of his old family Bible, probably 
two hundred years old. His children were David, Joshua, 
John, Arthur, James, Jane, and Sarah. None of these left 
issue, except James, who died at 65, in the year 1854. His 
daughter, Viney, married George Monteeth, and then moved 
West. Sarah married James Robinson and died in the east- 
ern part of the county. 

W. Manson Garrison married and moved to West Ten- 
nessee ; L. S. Garrison died young, and left one child ; B. H. 
Garrison married Mary Ann Hunter, daughter of Robert 
Hunter, had eight children — some of whom were in the 
Confederate Army. He is now in good health, but in his 
90th year. Has been an active magistrate until recently; 




MR. BRAWLEY OATES. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 77 

has always been an active supporter of good government, 
of both church and schools. 

Samuel A. Garrison, his brothr, has led a peaceful life, 
raised an excellent family, and has always patronized the 
best schools, and, like all the family, helped build up the 
interests of the county. He was twice married, both times 
to a Hunter, and raised eleven children, all good citizens. 
He is now in his 84th year. 

W. G. Garrison also is still living, in the 82nd year, hale 
and hearty. He has four children living, all useful citizens. 

David B. Garrison, the youngest of the family, lost his leg 
in Virginia, where so many were killed and wounded con- 
tending for our rights. Has three children now living, and 
do much to make his last years pleasant. The Garrisons 
were good people, very much like the descendants of the 
early settlers of the county. Mecklenburg county was for- 
tunate indeed in the class of her early pioneers. 

BRAWLEY OATES. 

Mr. (Dates was a native of Cleveland county, was the son 
of good people, but not embarrassed with wealth. He prob- 
ably came to Mecklenburg about 1830 or 1832. 

In 1836 Mr. Oates was elected clerk of the County Court 
and served continuously till 1842. Charles T. Alexander 
succeeded him for the place till 1845, when Mr. Oates won 
the position back again and held the office till 1854. His 
health had now become very feeble from a pulmonary efrec- 
tion, which rendered him unable to attend to the duties of 
the office. He moved to Florida and the climate agreeing 
with his weak lungs so well, that he attended to his farm 
for eighteen years, enjoying a pretty fair state of health. 
Mr. Oates was a native of Cleveland county; he moved to 
Charlotte while quite a young man. He courted and won 
Miss Lilly Lowrie, a daughter of Judge Lowrie. A farm- 
er's son of Cleveland county won a bride from one of the 
most aristocratic families of Mecklenburg. This was be- 



1/8 HISTORY OF 

fore the advent of railroads, and Mr. Oates wanted to take 
his wife over to Cleveland county to visit his people. They 
were traveling- in a gig, and just beyond the Catawba river 
at Beattie's Ford, their gig gave way and Mr. Oates had to 
go to a house close by for assistance. During his absence, 
a party of her acquaintances returning from Catawba 
Springs, were astonished to meet Miss Lilly alone in the big 
road, and asked what it meant. She replied that "she had 
married Brawley last evening, and was just going up to see 
old Oates and family." They had a jolly time on the high- 
way. 

They had two daughters and one son. Margaret mar- 
ried Mr. Charles E. Spratt, a courtly gentleman who is 
spending the evening of his days with his daughter, Mrs. 
VanLandingham, in the city. It is said that he and his wife 
were the most handsome couple that ever lived in Charlotte. 
Mrs. Mary Eliza Agnew moved to Florida and soon passed 
away. The son, Dr. David Oates, served through the war 
of I 86 1 -'65, and moved to Alabama, where he lives in single 
blessedness. 

DR. DAVID R. DUNLAP. 

Rev. Alexander Craighead had one daughter, Rachel, 
who married Rev. David Caldwell, of Guilford county, 
and one daughter, Jane, who married Mr. Dunlap, who 
lived in Anson county, who were the parents of Dr. David 
R. Dunlap, of Charlotte, N. C. He came to Mecklen- 
burg in the first years of the Nineteenth century. He was 
armed and equipped for the practice of his profession, and 
made quite a reputation ; was often called in consultation 
with the celebrated Dr. Charles Harris, of Cabarrus county, 
whose fame as a surgeon was co-extensive with State. Dr. 
Dunlap was at one time called to see a patient down in Clear 
Creek. When he got there he was informed Dr. Harris 
had been to see him a few days previous, and tapped the 
patient for dropsy, and inserted a goose quill, roughened at 




DR. DAVID R. DUNLAP. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 79 

both ends, so it would not slip in or out. The man was 
evidently not good pay. He practiced medicine for a 
long- time, probably forty years; he retired before 1850. He 
was clerk and master of the Court of Equity for a great 
many years. His daughter and his nephew, S. J. Lowrie, 
did all of his writing for fifteen years before his death, 
which occurred in 1865. He was very efficient in his office, 
keeping all his papers in the best of order. He was three 
times married. First he married a Jenkins from Anson 
count}-, and she lived but a short time, had one son and 
died. The doctor in the g-oodness of his heart, took for his 
second wife a sister of his first. This being contrary to the 
rules of the Presbyterian Church at that time, they cast him 
out. He then joined the Methodist Church, and became 
the pioneer leader of Methodism in Mecklenburg county. 
He engaged in a correspondence with his former friends 
and kinsfolk, who were Presbyterians, that was not com- 
mendable on either side. About this time Dr. D. T. Cald- 
well had a son to die. He and Dr. Dunlap had not been on 
speaking terms for years, and Dr. Dunlap came to visit him 
in his affliction. Dr. Caldwell met him at the door, both 
shed tears of reconciliation, forgot the past, and were the 
best of friends in all their future life. 

Dr. Dunlap having lost his second wife, turned his at- 
tention to a daughter of Judge Lowrie, Miss Polly, and 
was accepted. Together they entertained their host of 
friends, watched after the interests of their church; their 
house was the stopping place for all the ministers in passing 
to and from their conferences. In that day the Methodist 
church was emphatically nursed on horseback ; and it is also 
remembered that if their ministers were not well paid, they 
were well fed, and their horse was well cared for. It was 
a common saying fifty or seventy years ago, "As fat as a 
Methodist preacher's horse," when talking of animals in fine 
condition. 

The last Mrs. Dunlap had but one child, a daughter. She 
grew up to be a very handsome woman, and what is better, 



l8o HISTORY OF 

of brilliant intellect. She, like father, was devotedly at- 
tached to the Methodist church. She married Dr. Edmund 
Jones, of Morganton, but he did not live long, and she re- 
turned to her father's house. She continued with her 
father till 1858, when she contracted a second marriage 
with Col. T. H. Brem, a most excellent gentleman and large 
merchant of the city. Dr. Dunlap went to live with his 
daughter, Mrs. Brem, where he spent the evening of his 
days. He died in the 84th year of his age in 1865, honored 
and loved by all the town and many hundreds in the county. 
His daughter soon followed, and his son, Hamilton, who 
lived in Alabama, have joined him in the spirit land. Meck- 
lenburg has never had a better citizen than Dr. David R. 
Dunlap; nor one who contributed more by precept and ex- 
ample, to teach morality and a pure Christianity. A cheer- 
ful disposition was as ever present with him, as his shadow 
when the sun was shining. After having practiced medi- 
cine for a great many years, passed safely through many epi- 
demics, he was attacked with ordinary whooping cough 
when 70 years old. He is said to have whooped as clear as 
a child of ten. It is strange that he was always proof 
against the disease when often exposed to it, and yielded to 
its attacking power when he thought he was immune. But 
it left no bad effects behind. 

REV. W. W. PHARR, D. D. 

It might be said with propriety that he was a native of 
this county. He was born in Cabarrus county, an off-shoot 
of Mecklenburg, in the year 181 3, and died in 1886. He 
received the most of his early education in the neighbor- 
hood, but graduated at the University of North Carolina. 
He early entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, 
and labored faithfully for the Master during a long life. 
He was gladly received wherever he went, both in the 
churches and private families. He did not preach secta- 
rianism, but the Gospel of Christ. He was particularly 




DR. W. W. PHARR. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. l8l 

loved by the poor; he sympathized with them in all their 
anxieties, distresses and fears; his visits to their houses in 
sickness always brought sunshine and brushed their tears 
away. He was equally as welcome at a marriage, jovial and 
gay with innocent amusement, he enjoyed the hilarious as- 
semblage of young persons. He was a great advocate of 
good schools, and worked for their success. It has been 
said that preachers, as a general rule, were fine students, 
but not practical in the affairs of life. Not so with Dr. 
Pharr. Davidson College owes much of its prosperity to 
the guiding hand of this benevolent minister while presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees. He served several churches 
at different times in his life, and always acceptably. In his 
early life he was pastor of Bethp'age, and then of Poplar 
Tent, for several years at Statesville. Then called by Pres- 
bytery to heal a breach in Ramah, which was of political 
origin in reconstruction days. Probably no other man 
could have smoothed the fires of discord that had com- 
menced in Ramah. "Blessed are the peacemakers." 

Dr. Pharr was blessed not only in his labors in the church, 
as hundreds now living in the bounds of Mallard Creek 
church would gladly testify, but he was blest in his family. 
His first wife was a daughter of John R. Alexander, one of 
the best women in the world, who left three children who 
are an ornament to society and valuable to the county. The 
last wife was a daughter of Gen. W. H. Neal, who was a 
very prominent man in the affairs of the county, as well as 
the church. 

Both sons and daughters, four in all, are among our best 
people, and take a good stand in both church and State. His 
widow, in feeble health, is blessed by her children and 
friends. Rev. Dr. Pharr was eminently fitted for the times 
in which he lived. He spoke extemporaneously, and looked 
earnestly in the faces of his hearers and always quit before 
his audience became weary. He made it a rule to shake 
hands, if possible, with every one at his church every Sun- 
dav. In this wav he could know the health of his congrega- 



1 82 HISTORY OF 

tion. In his day the people had two services each day, and 
a bountiful repast spread in a good shade. To this dinner 
each mother expected Mr. Pharr to dine with them, so as not 
to be partial he would make the circuit of all the spreads. He 
was a man for the times, and was well known in the county. 
His remains rest in Mallard Creek burying - ground, close by 
the remains of his kinsman, Rev. Walter Smiley Pharr, who 
was his predecessor at both Ramah and Mallard Creek. The 
people were devoted to the name of Pharr. Some fifty years 
ago when Rev. W. S. Pharr was the pastor, he invited his 
son, Rev. S. C. Pharr, D. D., who was a very talented man 
and given to using much poetry in his sermons, to assist him 
with the communion then approaching; as was the custom 
then to hold service out of doors, the young man arose in 
the stand to preach the morning sermon, and as he gave out 
his text, the old man who was sitting - behind him, pulled his 
coat tail, intimating that he wanted to speak to him. He at 
once turned around when his father said to him : "Now 
Samuel, my son, we must have no rhyming to-day." It 
was too solemn an occasion for poetry to be allowed a place 
in the wonderful display of God's love. 

DR. W. A. ARDREY. 

Dr. William A. Ardrey was born in York District, South 
Carolina, on the 19th day of April, 1798. His parents, 
William and Mary Ardrey, sailed for America upon the 
first vessel leaving the shores of old Ireland after the Dec- 
laration of Independence was proclaimed at Philadelphia by 
Great Britain's erstwhile colonies. 

The vessel landed at Charleston, South Carolina, and this 
young couple made their way to the up-country of South 
Carolina, and settled in York county, within a few miles of 
the present town of Yorkville. There they erected the 
frontierman's cabin and with brave hearts for the hardships 
of the present and bright hopes in the fortunes of the future, 
they established their home and cast their lot with the new 




DR. WM. ARDREY. 



• \ 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 183 

republic. To them were born six sons and daughters. 
William A. Ardrey, the subject of this sketch, was the 
youngest son. His mother died in his infancy and he was 
reared by an elder sister — Miriam, whose training may 
have developed in her ward a sturdiness of character that 
the mother's tenderness may not. 

With strong intellectual inheritance and with lofty and 
manly aspirations, he obtained a classical education against 
all the hindrances and difficulties of the times. After com- 
pleting his academic course, he entered upon the study of 
medicine, and when he had finished his lectures and received 
his medical degree, he located for the practice of his profes- 
sion on the border line between the counties of Mecklen- 
burg and Lancaster, in the States of North and South 
Carolina, respectively, his home being on the North Caro- 
lina side. 

He married Mrs. Lydiai L. Cure ton, who was a daughter 
of Capt. John Potts, of Mecklenburg county, and a grand- 
daughter of Mrs. Gen. Graham. 

With clear head, sound judgment and genial manners, he 
practiced medicine for many years, over an area of twenty 
miles, embracing portions of Union, and Mecklenburg coun- 
ties in North Carolina, and York and Lancaster, in South 
Carolina. 

With a high appreciation of the usefulness and dignity 
of his profession, he gave medical education and opportu- 
nity to quite a number of deserving young men. 

In politics. Dr. Ardrey was an odd line Whig. Having 
attended a Kentucky University in the zenith of the fame of 
Henry Clay, he imbibed and assimilated much of the tenets 
and doctrines of that brilliant statesman, and continued in 
that faith as long as there was a Whig candidate to espouse 
or a Whig ticket to vote. Although his party was in a 
hopeless minority in Mecklenburg county and there was no 
chance to win, yet, feeling that its principles were to be 
counted above success, he was several times induced to 



184 HISTORY OF 

make the race, as the Whig nominee, for the State Legisla- 
ture. 

He was a zealous patriot, and was generally the master 
of ceremonies, or a favorite speaker, at all the Fourth of 
July or like celebrations and demonstrations in lower Meck- 
lenburg. 

He was a man keenly alive to everything that indicated 
progress and advancement in the life of his country. He 
was especially active in the agitation in behalf of railroads, 
and with Judge Osborne and other prominent men of the 
county canvassed the county in the interest of its first rail- 
road running from Columbia to Charlotte, and the first 
railroad in this section of the country. 

He had been reared in the faith of the Associate Re- 
formed Presbyterian Church, but in the mature and ripened 
convictions of later years, he joined the Methodist Church, 
and helped to build and establish Harrison church, in lower 
Providence township, near the South Carolina line, which 
is perhaps, the oldest Methodist church in Mecklenburg 
county. He served his church with all that earnestness and 
faithfulness that he had devoted to suffering humanity in 
his profession. He accepted and adorned all the lay offices 
within her gift. Until disabled by physical affliction, he 
dedicated to her cause, without stint and with a whole heart, 
his time, his talents and his means. For many years he 
maintained on his plantation a Sunday School for the syste- 
matic teaching of the Scriptures to his slaves, towards whom 
he was, at all times, a kind and merciful master. 

It was the home and social and Christian life of this busy 
physician that marked in him the highest consummation of 
the virtues of a true gentleman. 

He died in the year 1861, leaving seven children who, 
true to the teachings of their worthy sire, have borne well 
their part in all the calls of the highest citizenship, both in 
Church and State. 

Captain James P. Ardrey gave up his life upon the bat- 
tlefields of Virginia. His other sons are Captain W. E. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 85 

Ardrey, of Providence township; Mr. J. W. Ardrey, of 
Fort Mill, S. C, and the late Dr. J. A. Ardrey, of Pine- 
ville. 

His surviving' daughters are Mrs. Mary J. Bell, widow of 
the late Robt. C. Bell, of Providence township; Mrs. Mar- 
garet R. Potts, widow of Captain J. G. Potts, and Mrs. S. 
H. Elliott, all of Mecklenburg county. 

DR. CHARLES HARRIS. 

When we come by Poplar Tent, one of the original seven 
churches that were first organized in this part of North Car- 
olina, and formerly in Mecklenburg county, we pass the 
place of Dr. Charles Harris, who was a surgeon in the Rev- 
olutionary war. He lived for many years after Independ- 
ence was gained, to heal the sick, and perform the surgery 
that was needed in a radius of more than one hundred miles. 
He was offered the chair of Surgery in the University oif 
Pennsylvania, but declined the flattering offer to render his 
services to neighbors and friends with whom he worked to 
build up the civilization at home, where his labors were ap- 
preciated. His manners were rough, like the times in which 
he lived. An anecdote or two will show him as to his ac- 
tions better than words. 

He attended Mrs. Alcorn, a very poor Irish widow, for a 
bad case of white swelling. A few months after she got 
well, the doctor was passing 'her house when she ran out 
calling, "Doctor, stop a minute." "What do you want?" he 
enquired. "I want to give you this web of cloth for attending 
me." The doctor replied : "Take that cloth and clothe your 
ragged children. I am going to Hugh Torrance's and Rob- 
bin Davidson's, and I will make them pay your bill." 

He was sent for to go to Morganton to see a young lady 
who had dislocation of her jaw. The family thought she had 
lockjaw and was dying. Dr. Harris wrapped his thumbs 
with her handkerchief and told her, "Damn you, don't you 
bite me!" She was instantly relieved. 



1 86 HISTORY OF 

The descendants o>f Dr. Harris were prominent charac- 
ters in Cabarrus county (cut off of Mecklenburg' several 
years after the Revolutionary war), were among the best 
educated people in the State, and were worthy citizens. 

His son, William Shakespeare Harris, was one of the spe- 
cial escort who met Gen. LaFayette at the Virginia line, 
and escorted him through the State in 1824. His posterity 
were as true to; the Southern cause in; 1 861 -'65 as their 
forefathers were patriotic in i775-'8i. In the same section 
were grown up the "Black Boys," who intercepted a load of 
gun powder between Charlotte and Salisbury, blew up the 
powder, and escaped. This was in 1777. This whole 
country was ripe for revolution. In Poplar Tent church- 
yard is the grave of Rev. Hezekiah J. Balch, a minister of 
the Gospel, who was a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence of May 20, 1775. He, with many others, had 
listened to and accepted, the teachings of Mr. Craighead. 
Here also lived, labored and died Rev. John Robbinson, D. 
D., whose kindred and descendants occupy this section, and 
have always maintained a high standard o>f piety and good 
citizenship. The family of Flyns, who occupied such posi- 
tion in both Church and State one hundred years ago, are 
no longer residents of our county. Only the graves of the 
older set alone, are here to remind us that such people lived 
once in the county ; and their history not having been writ- 
ten, it is unknown to the generation now extant. 

SKETCH OF GEN. D. H. HILL TAKEN FROM ""THE NEWS." 

The Confederate soldiers all over the State will bow their 
heads in grief over the announcement that Lieut. Gen. D. 
H. Hill is no more. He died in this city at 4 130 Tuesday 
afternoon, in the 68th year of his age. 

Gen. Hill was followed through the war mainly by North 
Carolinians; hundreds who stood with him where shot and 
shell flew thickest, live in Charlotte. Gen. Hill led our peo- 
ple in war and lived with them in peace, and all that per- 




GEN. D. H. HILL. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 87 

tains to the history of the dead warrior will be read with 
mournful interest. Gen. Hill's life was an eventful one. 
He was born in York county, S. C, in 1821, and graduated 
from West Point when only 20 years old. He served in 
the war with Mexico, and was successfully brevetted as Cap- 
tain and Major for gallant and meritorious conduct at Con- 
treras and Chapultepec, and received atChuriebusco a sword 
of honor from his native State. He resigned his commis- 
sion 1 in 1849, an 'd became successively professor in Washing- 
ton College, Va., (1849 to 1854) and in Davidson Col- 
lege, N. C. He was professor in Davidson College in 
1854 and 1859. and then took the superintendency of the 
North Carolina Military Institute, which position he held 
until the breaking out of the war between the States. 

Gen. Hill was among the first to enter the field of war, 
and his career as a Confederate soldier is preserved "in 
records that defy the tooth of time." He took a prominent 
part in the battle of Big - Bethel, and led successfully in the 
following engagements : Williamsburg, Va., Seven Pines or 
Fair Oaks, Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Cold Harbor, 
Malvern Hill, South Mountain, or Boonsboro, Sharpsburg 
and Fredericksburg. After this latter battle. General 
Hill was transferred to the seat of war in the West. His 
reputation was gained in the battle of South Mountain. He 
held the mountain pass at Boonsboro against the whole of 
McClellan's army from early dawn until the afternoon, when 
Longstreet and Hood came to his relief. The righting at 
this point was terrific. 

When all was lost to the Confederacy, Gen. Hill returned 
to Charlotte to help our people build up their broken for- 
tunes. He was known for years after the war as "the un- 
reconstructed." Here he published a magazine entitled 
"The Land We Love," volumes of which are tenderly pre- 
served in Southern homes. Gen. Hill's best work while in 
Charlotte was done on his weekly paper, The Southern 
Home. Pie was a writer of great vigor and the Home was 
a power in the land. Gen. Hill left Charlotte in 1876 to 



1 88 HISTORY OF 

accept the presidency of the University of Arkansas. He 
filled that position until 1885, and in 1887 'he was elected 
president of the State Agricultural College at Milledge- 
ville, Ga. A few months ago, feeling his health declining, 
he came to North Carolina in the hope of recuperating. He 
continued to decline, however, and in a few weeks sent his 
resignation to the trustees of the college at Milledgeville. 
The resignation was accepted only after it had been tendered 
emphatically the second time. Gen. Hill's last days were 
peaceful and quiet, and his death was that of a Christian, 
resigned, hopeful, confident in winning the last great vic- 
tory over death. 

Gen. Hill was a brother-in-law to Stonewall Jackson. He 
was married to Miss Isabella Morrison, oldest daughter of 
the late Dr. R. H. Morrison, in November, 1848. Mrs. 
Gen. Hill and several children are still living. Gen. Hill's 
body was buried in the old graveyard at Davidson College, 
where four of 'his children were buried. 

BREM, JOHNSTON AND ALEXANDER. 

This trio of business men at one time or another merchan- 
dised in Charlotte, and at various times were partners. Col. 
T. H. Brem was raised near Beattie's Ford, working in his 
father's store. When a young man 'he moved to> town, and 
formed a partnership with Mr. S. P. Alexander. They 
kept a general assortment store for a number of years. They 
were very prosperous. In 1851 the epidemic of smallpox 
was of such an alarming character as to drive everybody 
from town. Brem & Alexander moved their store up on 
the Statesville road to Col. B. W. Alexander's, nine miles 
from Charlotte. The disease lasted six or eight months, 
when they moved back to town. At this time they made a 
trade with Mr. J. R. Alexander for his son T. Lafayette Al- 
exander, for three years, agreeing to pay him fifty dollars 
and his board for the first year, one hundred for the second, 
and one hundred and fifty for the third. After the first 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 1 89 

month, Mr. Brem was anxious tx> cancel the trade; said he 
could not teach him; but when he was forced to keep him, 
Lafayette learned so fast and took so much interest in the 
store, that Brem & Alexander said that they found a treasure 
in their clerk. When the three years were out, they raised 
his salary to five hundred dollars, and soon took him in as a 
partner, which position he held until the war pushed all her 
men to the field. Col. Wm. Johnston took Mr. S. P. Alex- 
ander's place in the early fifties. But his time was taken up 
so entirely with the C. & C. R. R., that he withdrew from the 
store. Col. Wm. Johnston made one of the finest railroad 
managers during 1 the war that was in the Confederacy. 
Col. T. H. Brem got up an artillery company, with six can- 
non, well equipped with both men and horses. The county 
was proud of her artillery company. 

Mr. S. P. Alexander, after withdrawing from his part- 
ners in the dry goods business, confined himself to the busi- 
ness of dealing in securities. At this he was very success- 
ful, accumulating a large fortune. He was never married; 
he was a liberal subscriber to all church work during his 
life time; was very liberal in his contributions; to Sharon 
church ; gave largely to build the fine temple the people now 
worship in. In his recent bequests he remembered his 
church, and many O'f his kindred. He was a grand-son of 
Hezekiah Alexander, one of the famous signers of the Dec- 
laration of Independence. He loved his church and his kin- 
folks. He always went to bed at 9 o'clock, no matter how 
entertaining a party he may be associated with. Regular 
hours was part of his religion. He lived to be an old man ; 
he was respected by all who knew him ; he made confidants 
of but few, but was a fast friend of those whom he thought 
worthy of friendship. He died at the end of the Nineteenth 
century. He lived in the best period of the world's history. 

Mr. T. Lafayette Alexander, another of the firm, was a 
descendant of a signer, J. McKnitt Alexander, a brother of 
Hezekiah, passed away in the year 1897. He, too, accu- 
mulated a handsome competence to leave his children and 



190 HISTORY OF 

did many good deeds that his neighbors knew naught of. 
He was a son of John R. Alexander, one of the most ener- 
getic men the county ever produced. He was a firm believer 
in education, and did more to keep up a first-class school in 
his section of the county than any other person. He was 
violently opposed to the Avar between the States; appeared 
to see the termination from the beginning. He saw with a 
prophetic glance the South crushed, and our people bank- 
rupt, who were not killed in the war. Yet, with his feel- 
ings wrought up to a dangerous tension, he gave his three 
sons to the cause of the South. It is needless to say that his 
worst forebodings came literally true. He was a true patriot, 
accepted the terms of peace accorded us, never ceased to 
blame the Democratic party, yet voted that ticket, as he said 
there was no place elsewhere for a white man to go 

The writer once saw Capt. John Walker, as he was called 
"the wheelhorse of Democracy," meet Mr. Alexander, who 
had been all his life a bitter Whig, and said to him, "I never 
expected to see the day when you and I would vote the same 
ticket." Mr. Alexander replied, "No. and I'll be danged if 
I would do it now if I could help myself." 

DR. J. P. M'COMBS. 

The name of Dr. Parks McCombs has been a household 
word for the last thirty-five years. A student of Dr. P. C. 
Caldwell, the people took him up to fill the vacancy left by 
his preceptor. Dr. McCombs came on the stage of life's 
drama just in the nick of time to meet a great responsibility. 
The war between the States was just ushered in, and none 
were more ardent in espousing the cause of the South, or 
better armed and equipped for performing his duty than 
Dr. McCombs. When the war was over, and all of our 
property destroyed, no money in circulation in the South. 
we scarcely knew which way to turn ; it was even difficult to 
obtain breadstuff's, Dr. McCombs. like the patriot he was, 
attended the poor people without the hope of reward. Our 



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DR. ROBERT GIBBON. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 191 

people were blessed with rich harvests, and soon we were 
on our feet again. He did a large and lucrative practice up 
to the time of his death in 1902. He was a fine surgeon, 
and was often called to the country, ten to twenty miles, to 
perform a capital or difficult operation. Dr. McCombs was 
firmly O'f the opinion that Mecklenburg county "was the 
land of gold." He opened several mines, bought and sold 
for a pastime. If he had not been wedded to his profes- 
sion, he would have been an expert miner. During the war 
with Spain he went over to Cuba to visit the troops from 
Mecklenburg and other places. Although his health was 
then feeble, his attachment for the military service was 
strong. From causes unknown to any one, he put off 
taking a partner until the last year of his life. He married 
a Miss Guion, a grand-daughter of his old preceptor, Dr. 
P. C. Caldwell, who was a trained nurse; and well did she 
fill the place while her husband lingered on the border land. 

DR. ROBERT GIBBON. 

The eminent subject of this sketch was born in Philadel- 
phia in the year 1823. He was educated in Tennessee and 
graduated at Yale, and studied medicine at the Jefferson 
College of Pennsylvania, graduated in 1846. He practiced 
medicine in Charlotte about the middle of the Nineteenth 
century, and had for his confreres Drs. D. T. Caldwell, P. C. 
Caldwell, J. M. Happoldt, Mcllwain, J. M. Miller, C. J. 
Fox, and others. When the great Civil War came on, Dr. 
Gibbon was among the first to offer his services to the Con- 
federacy as a surgeon. He was assigned to' duty with the 
Twenty-eighth North Carolina Troops, and stationed at 
Wilmington. In March, 1862, the regiment was ordered 
to Kinston to report to Gen. L. O'B. Branch, immediately 
ai'ter the battle at New Bern. He then became senior sur- 
geon of the brigade. It was a common saying in this 
brigade and in this division, that Dr. Gibbon was one of the 
finest operators in the army. He served through the war 



192 HISTORY OF 

with Capt. Nick Gibbon as commissary of his regiment; 
and his brother John, a Major- General in the Federal army. 
They were frequently engaged in the same battle, but never 
met while the war lasted. When peace was declared, he 
resumed his practice in Charlotte with all of his former 
energy and usefulness. He married soon after the war Miss 
Mary Rodgers, of Charleston, S. C, and was blessed with 
sons Robert and John, who grew up to follow in their fath- 
er's footsteps — they both studied medicine and both have 
made for themselves an enviable reputation of fine sur- 
geons, Dr. Robert here in Charlotte, and Dr. John in Phila- 
delphia. Dr. Gibbon was twice married; the last was 
Miss Corina M. Harris, who survives him. He attained a 
ripe old age, did a vast amount of work for suffering human- 
ity, lived a well spent life, but in the evening of his life, when 
the shadows grew long, his health gave way, and without 
any suffering he gradually fell asleep in the year 1900. 

ADAM TODD AND FAMILY. 

The early history of this interesting family has become 
somewhat clouded in its earlier years. But few families can 
trace an accurate account of their migrations in the mother 
country, and establish a correct account of their meander- 
ings before they built a home in this country. It is certain 
that they came here before the Revolutionary war. It is in 
their family history that John Todd was born the night that 
Lord Cornwallis came to Charlotte. This being a night of 
sore distress, the date can hardly be forgotten. Adam Todd 
had a son Adam who was the father of our worthy towns- 
man, Ale Todd, who met with so serious an accident as to 
lose both legs in railroad service. His wife was a daughter 
of Allen Cruse. 

James Todd, who was born in the latter part of the Eigh- 
teenth century, married Enie Hutchison and raised one son, 
John, and three daughters; but two are now living. John 
William Todd married Sarah McCord. Lawson Todd, son 



MECKIvKNBURG COUNTY. 193 

of Hugh Todd, married Mary McGinn, Cynthia Todd 
married Absolum Holdbrooks. They and their children 
moved to York county, South Carolina. John William 
Todd is an elder in Paw Creek church. He is now an old 
man, has been faithful in all things, is spoken well of by 
all his neighbors. Harvey Todd, the father of Mrs. Alex- 
ander (the mother of the druggist, S. L. Alexander), and 
her sister, Mrs. Cynthia Alexander, died at 81 years. Both 
of his sons-in-law died in the service of the Confederacy. 
They were a long-lived family. Some of the older ones 
were over ioo years. They were a quiet, inoffensive peo- 
ple, strictly attending to their own business. Did all their 
own work; could make their own plows, harrows and do 
their own repairing of all kinds, even blacksmithing, shoe- 
making and the women making all the clothes the family 
wore. They furnished a full quota of true men to the Con- 
federate army. Sixteen men by the name of Todd went 
from Paw Creek, and it is reasonable to suppose that as 
many more whose mothers were Todds, and sent brave sons 
by another name. Truly Mecklenburg feels proud to have 
such yeomanry to defend the good name of our county. It 
was fortunate for our county that our earliest immigrants 
were among the best people in the world ; and the later gen- 
erations have given abundant proof that blood will tell. 



T5he Central Hotel. 

A half century ago, or at somewhat earlier date, a place 
of entertainment was usually called a tavern, at which place 
the wants of man and beast could be satisfied. Many men 
tried at different times to play the part of "Boniface," but 
very few kept the position long enough to become ac- 
quainted with the traveling public, or make an enviable rep- 
utation among those who traveled on horseback. Hiram 
Sloan, from Iredell county, was "mine host" in 1844; but 
the business did not prove lucrative, and he turned his at- 
tention to the farm, which he did know how to manage, so 
it would be a success. Stokes Norman was induced to try 
his hand at "catering to the public," but from some cause un- 
known to the writer, he only kept the tavern one year. He 
continued to reside in the town and in the county until his 
course was run. He was a warm, genial friend, particularly 
to boys and young men. He and Dr. P. C. Caldwell were 
close friends, and spent much time together. 

In 1846 Mr. J. A. Sadler moved to Charlotte and took 
charge of the tavern. He called it "Sadler's Hotel." He 
was immensely popular and was known far and near as a 
"prince of hotel keepers." He was a man of most elegant 
manners, all of his politeness was natural, merely indicative 
of the man. The hotel when he took charge was an old 
frame concern, but poorly constructed for the purpose; but 
he managed to keep a well-filled house. Maj. Sadler came 
from South Carolina about the year 1844, and lived at the 
place of John Hannah Orr's. After 1852 he quit the hotel 
and retired to private life till the war came bn between the 
States, and notwithstanding he was over age, he volunteered 
as a staff officer. He was a commissary, and from his 
training in a hotel, it goes without saying he made an excel- 
lent officer. In the year 185 3-' 54 the hotel was built and 
furnished anew, and was run by H. B. Williams for a short 
time; then by W. W. Elms for a while; then by William 
Moore from New Bern, till the storm of war was over. 




MAJ. JENNINGS B. KERR. 



15he Charlotte Hotel. 

The century was young and man)'- of the habits and cus- 
toms of that day and time are now obsolete, but many of 
the old men yet living remember the day and the jovial face 
cf the proprietor, Maj. Jennings B. Kerr. He was a nat- 
ural "wag" and was well suited to play "mine host." In 
his jocular moods he would tell how he had outlived a 
dozen rivals. He owned his house, which he called in the 
early time "The Carolina Inn." His house was well pat- 
ronized, was very popular with the county people. Persons 
who were in the habit or partaking of his board could tell 
what he was going to have for dinner a week in the future. 
A favorite dish that he never failed to have for dinner was 
"chicken pie," cooked in a large, yellow queensware dish. 
Everything was clean and neat about his table, and good 
behavior in the dining room he would have or eject the dis- 
turber of the peace. He raised a most worthy family, two 
sons, the elder was a lawyer — he volunteered in the Seventh 
Regiment, North Carolina Troops. Capt. Wm. Kerr, he 
was severely wounded in the battles around Richmond in 
1862. He was killed at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863, 
where Mecklenburg lost many brave men. He had another 
son, Rev. David Kerr, preached in Arkansas, was a mem- 
ber of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He 
died when quite young. His oldest daughter married Mr. 
Sloan, of Greensboro. His second daughter, Miss Nannie, 
married Hon. J. L. Brown, one of the most worthy men 
of the town. His youngest daughter married Capt. F. S. 
DeWolf, was mayor of the town, and moved to Seattle, in 
Washington, on the Pacific Slope. A good family, but 
have all passed away. Good people can be raised in hotel 
life. Maj. Sadler left one son in Charlotte, who stands high 



196 HISTORY OF 

as an express manager. Every one speaks of him in high 
terms. Mr. Ab. Elliott married a daughter who is among 
our best women. Mr. T. D. Gillespie was one of the most 
popular men of the day, married another, and has left a 
son who is an efficient accountant and bookkeeper. The 
other daughters married men of equal worth, and have 
moved to other parts. 



'PUBLJ(. 



TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 



-, yi^fc sc 







GEN RUFUS BARRINGER. 



Rufus Bcvrringer, of Ca.baLrrus and Meck- 
lenburg. 

Rufus Barringer was often head to say, "I believe in 
but three institutions, the Family, the Church, and the 
State," and under these heads this sketch will be written. 

As to Family, reference is made to a letter of his to Dr. 
Kemp Battle, written in the spirit of the true American. He 
says : "So far as I have been able to find, the Barringers, of 
Germany, laid no claim to noble rank or descent; but I do 
find that my grandfather, John Paul Barringer, of Wurten- 
burg, was a man of heroic mould and ever a good man 
through a long and eventful life." 

Rufus Barringer was a firm believer in heredity. Since 
it is always interesting to note family characteristics, we re- 
turn to the founder of the Barringer family in North Caro- 
lina, John Paul (or Paulus) Barringer. He was born in 
Wurtenburg June 4, 1721, arrived in Philadelphia Septem- 
ber 20, 1743, on the good ship Phcenix, Capt. Wm. Wilson, 
last from Rotterdam. He married in Pennsylvania Ann 
Eliza Iseman, and after several years (about 1750) they 
with their children, Catherine and John, and several fellow 
countrymen, joined in the exodus to the Piedmont region of 
North Carolina, where they settled on the fertile lands of 
Dutch Buffalo, then Anson county, afterwards Mecklen- 
burg, and now Cabarrus, thus living in three counties with- 
out moving. 

The desolation of the country during the seven years war, 
added to the desire of being land-owners, is said to have 
caused this immigration from Wurtenburg. 

John Paul's love of family was shown by his sending to 
the "Old Country" for father, mother, brothers and sisters. 
The aged parents were buried at sea, but two brothers and 
three sisters came. George settled at Gold Hill. Mathias 
married Miss Burhart, settled in Lincoln, and was killed by 



I98 HISTORY OF 

the Indians in Catawba, where a monument was erected to 
him in 1891. The sisters were: Catherine married to 
Christian Overshine, Dolly married to Nicholas Cook, and 
Elizabeth or Anna Maria, married to Christian Barnhardt. 
Their descendants are scattered over the South and West, 
and show the same strong characteristics in Family, Church, 
and State. 

In 1777, John Paul Barringer married his second wife, 
Catherine, daughter of Caleb Blackwelder and Polly Decker, 
and raised a large family. 

John Paul was of note and influence in his community. 
He was captain of Queen's Militia, member of Committee 
of Safety, and was with James Hogg, of Orange, appointed 
by unanimous consent of the Halifax convention of 1776, 
Justice of the Peace. He and his brother-in-law, Caleb 
Phifer, were the first representatives of Cabarrus in the 
Legislature. It is said that the separation of Cabarrus from 
Mecklenburg was due to the indignation of John Paul and 
German friends, at his being ridiculed for giving orders to 
his company in German or Pennsylvania Dutch. The 
county was named for Stephen Cabarrus, who aided them 
to get the act through the Legislature. 

John Paul and his father-in-law, Caleb Blackwelder, too 
old for service, led in defence of the settlement against the 
Tories, who destroyed crops and carried away slaves. Fin- 
ally the Fanning gang raided across the Yadkin, destroyed 
everything and taking these two men prisoners, carried 
them to Camden, Old Mrs. Blackwelder, nothing daunted, 
followed them on horseback and ministered to their wants 
as well as to those of other prisoners, even to the Britishers. 
Smallpox was raging there and unfortunately, she commu- 
nicated the disease to her young grandson Paul, who always 
bore the marks of it. The husband and father were eventu- 
ally released through her influence and that of a man named 
Levinstein. The Tory most obnoxious to that neighbor- 
hood was named Hagar and was finally run off. Hagar's 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. I99 

» 

mill was confiscated by Tom Polk and came into the posses- 
sion of the Barringer family. 

In religion, John Paul was Lutheran and deeply devo- 
tional, though neither sectarian nor fanatic. Pie used daily 
a large Luther Bible (date 1747) which is still owned by 
the family. These German Lutherans, like the Presbyte- 
rians, ever had church and school house side by side. He 
gave a large body of land to- the church, was active in church 
building, president of the council and was made referee in 
all church disputes. The "Yellow Meeting House" was 
built at his expense and the congregation voted him a raised 
seat of honor, moving it to the new church of St. John's 
when rebuilt. He is said to have lived well after the man- 
ner of his day, and "they say" he exchanged a barrel of 
kraut with the Italian miner, Rivafinoli, for a barrel of im- 
ported wine. 

Gov. Tryon visited him during his tour in 1768, and was 
highly gratified with his entertainment. He died January 
1, 1807, and was buried at St. John's church. His wife, 
Catherine, lived till October 29, 1847, aged 92. 

GEN. PAUL BARRINGER. 

The oldest son of John Paul Barringer and Catherine 
Blackwelder was born in 1778, on Dutch Buffalo, then in 
Mecklenburg, now Cabarrus. He was both merchant and 
farmer. 

His father had never mastered the English language, but 
he gave his children the best advantages of the times and 
directed his executor to have his minor children educated in 
the Protestant faith. Realizing the disadvantages he had 
labored under he sent his sons to Chapel Hill, and his 
daughters to the best schools. Besides his own children, 
Ik helped many other young men to get a start in life. 

His wife was Elizabeth Brandon, daughter of Matthew 
Brandon and Jean Armstrong, of Rowan. Her family 
were the Lockes, Brandons and Armstrongs. The records 



200 HISTORY OF 

show that many patriotic soldiers were furnished by them 
during- the Revolution. They were married February 21, 
1805. Their children were Daniel Moreau Barringer, mem- 
ber of Congress, minister to Spain, aid to Gov. Clark dur- 
ing the Civil War; Paul Barringer, of Mississippi; Rev. 
William Barringer, of Greensboro; Gen. Rufus Barringer, 
of Charlotte; Maj. Victor C. Barringer, First North Caro- 
lina Cavalry, and Judge of International Court of Appeals 
in Egypt from 1874 to 1894; Margaret married John Boyd, 
then Andrew Grier; Mary married Charles Harris, M. D. ; 
Elizabeth, Edwin Harris, and Catherine, William G. Means. 
Like his father, Paul Barringer was a devoted patriot. 
He was an old line Whig and bitterly opposed to nullifica- 
tion at its first inception, as shown in circulars published in 
a political contest with Charles Fisher in 1832, and in news- 
paper records of public meetings of the day. He was often 
prominent as president of the day on the 4th of July and 
20th of May anniversaries. He was a firm believer in the 
authenticity of the Mecklenburg Declaration and seems to 
have brought up his sons in the same faith. The Western 
Carolinian of May 24, 1839, mentions the orator of the day, 
D. M. Barringer, and Wm. Barringer was on the Commit- 
tee of Invitation. Rufus Barringer's journal for May, 
1844, refers to a "grand celebration" at which he was pres- 
ent in Charlotte. Cabarrus was, in 1775, a part of Meck- 
lenburg, and many of the "signers" were from that sec- 
tion of the county. August 22, 1842, we find that Gen. 
Paul Barringer presides at a meeting to present to the As- 
sembly a memorial for the incorporation of the Mecklen- 
burg Memorial Association. 

During the War of 181 2, December 23, Paul Barringer 
was commissioned by Gov. Hawkins Brigadier-General of 
the Eleventh Regiment, North Carolina Troops. He was 
a member of the House for Cabarrus for ten consecutive 
terms (1806 to 1815), and of the State Senate in 1822. 

In religion he and his wife were devoted members of the 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 201 

Lutheran Church and both lie buried in that church yard at 
Concord. 

RUEUS BARRINGER. 

Rufus Barringer, fourth son of Paul Barringer and Eliz- 
abeth Brandon, was born at Poplar Grove, Cabarrus county, 
December 2, 1821. 

He was prepared for college by R. I. McDowell at Sugar 
Creek Academy and graduated at Chapel Hill in 1842. He 
read law with his brother, D. M. Barringer, and then under 
Judge Pearson, practicing in Cabarrus and neighboring 
counties. He, like his father, was Whig in politics. He 
was a member of the House of Commons in 1848, and of 
the State Senate in 1849, an d was a Bell and Everett elec- 
tor in i860. Like his father, he was strongly opposed to 
secession and predicted that it would result in long and 
bloody war. Seeing that war was inevitable, he warned the 
Legislature to arm the State and prepare for the support of 
troops, himself volunteering for the zvar and meaning it. 

His great-grandfather, Caleb Blackwelder, gave six sons 
to his country during the Revolution. His grand-father, 
John Paul Barringer, suffered from the Tories ; his uncle, 
John Barringer, was captain of a company ; his father volun- 
teered for the war of 181 2, and his maternal ancestors were 
active in defence of the country. Nothing less could be 
expected of Rufus Barringer than that at the fall of Sum- 
ter, he should respond to the call of his country and volun- 
teer for her defence. He enlisted for the war in the Cabar- 
rus Rangers April 19, 1861, and was chosen captain of the 
company, which became Company F, First North Carolina 
Cavalry, Ninth State Troops. His commission bears date 
of May 16, 1 86 1. Under fine drilling and through the ex- 
cellent discipline of Robert Ransom, its first Colonel, this 
regiment became the best in the Confederate service. Un- 
der Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee, its history was glorious in 
every campaign. 



202 HISTORY OF 

In an old paper there is found an item headed "Won't Go 
to CongTt "While others are trying to get out of the 

army by being elected to Congress, Maj. Rufus Barringer 
refuses to go to Congress to remain with the arr. I laj. 
Barringer is rig:.: : r the country needs all able-bodied men 
in the field. We c - letter. 

'Orange Court House, Va.. Oct : _ . 1863. 
'I .ntly received Duma .citations to be- 

come a candidate for Congress in the Eighth Dis . .ese 

solicitations I have unif rmly declined. Within the last 
few days I have learned that many of my friends still pro- 
pose voting for me, whether a candidate or not Whilst I 
am deeply grateful to all who have thus manifested an in- 
terest in my behalf and propose giving me this ..gonial 
of their confidence. I deem it due alike to them and to : 

- 

to state, that : r I much prefer my name 

should not be t. ed. 

'I entered the army from a sense of duty alone, count- 
ing the cost and ks g the sacr. 

" 'Our great object is not yet obtained and I do not con- 
sider it consistent my obligations here to accept any 
civil or political office during the war. I think it better for 
those in sen-ice to stand by 1 ir color - 
should all unite in a cordial and earnest support of the au- 
thorities in feeding, clothing and otherwise sustaining the 
gahar.- nd their families) who are fighting not c: 
for our rights, but for the safety of our homes and firesides. 
My chief desire is to see all party bickerings allayed. The 
army is not faint-hearted and will nobly perform its duty to 
the countr 

: 'If croakers, grumblers and growlers who torment 
themselves and all around them nag nary evils, could 

only lay aside their fears. If hoarders, speculators and 
money makers could only be educated to forge: selfish 

ends for a season. If conscr: -rulkers and deserters 

could only be got to their commands and all come up to the 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 203 

work like patriots and men, the army, by the blessing 1 of 
God, would soon secure us victory and peace. Oh ! that 
those men would reflect upon the error of their way and open 
their hearts to the call of their bleeding- country. My pray- 
ers are that all dissentions amongst us in North Carolina 
may be healed and that headed by our sworn and chosen 
leaders. President Davis and Governor Vance, the party, 
appealing alike to our duty, our honor, our interest and our 
safety would now consecrate themselves to their country.' 

Among his most prized treasures were letters of com- 
mendation from R. E. Lee, Hampton and Fitz. Lee to the 
"Old First." He was promoted Major August 26, 1863; 
Lieutenant-Colonel October 17, 1863, and Brigadier-General 
June, 1864, his brigade consisting of the First, Second, 
Third and Fifth Regiments. Gen. Barringer was in sev- 
enty-six actions and was thrice wounded most severely at 
Brandy Station. He was conspicuous at the battles of 
Willis' Church, Brandy Station, Auburn Mills, Buckland 
Races, where he led the charge, and Davis' Farm, where he 
commanded. He commanded a division at Reams' Station. 
His brigade was distinguished at Chamberlain Run, the last 
decided Confederate victory, where it forded a stream one 
hundred yards wide, saddle girth deep, under a galling fire, 
and drove back a division of Federal cavalry. March 31, 
1865. On April 3rd, at Namozine Church, he was taken 
prisoner by a party of "Jesse Scouts" disguised as Confed- 
erates. (Among the scouts were Col. Young and Capt. 
Rowland.) He was taken to City Point with Gens. Ewell 
and Custis Lee. Lincoln in Congress had desked with his 
elder brother, D. M. Barringer, and he asked for an inter- 
view, stating that he had "never before met a live Confed- 
erate general in full uniform." His party was sent to the 
old capitol prison and after Lincoln's death, transferred to 
Fort Delaware, remaining in confinement until August 5, 
1865. 

"His courage, efficiency and military services won him a 



204 HISTORY OF 

place alongside of the foremost cavalry leaders of the day." 
But he cared for no honors which he could not share with 
"the brave and self-sacrificing- private of North Carolina, 
the glory of the Confederate Army," as he was wont to say, 
and he was ever anxious that justice should be given them 
in history. On one of his last days he pleaded with an hon- 
ored Confederate captain to write of the brave deeds of his 
regiment, but was answered, "No, General; I have been 
thirty years trying to forget the war." This met with the 
response, "You are wrong, all wrong; it is due to yourself, 
as to them, that history give them the honor to which they 
are entitled by their bravery and self-sacrifice." 

His whole heart was in the honor of his State in war and 
in peace. He was eager to have the true record published, 
but he himself felt unequal to any part of the work. Finally, 
in November, 1894, Judge Clark plead with him, saying: 
"You are very busy; only busy men have the energy and 
talent for the work. Your record as a soldier satisfies me 
you will not decline this part of duty. I respectfully request 
that you write the history of the Ninth Regiment, N. C. S. 
T. (First Cavalry). Please acknowledge your acceptance 
of this assignment to duty, the last which the Confederate 
soldier can ask of you." Though on his sick bed, he called 
for notes, clippings, rosters, etc., and as a labor of love, 
wrote the article for the Regimental History, dictating to 
his wife, but correcting the proofs himself. 

As Gen. Barringer said, he "staked all and lost all" by 
the war. He then resumed the practice of law, removed to 
Charlotte in 1866 and formed partnership with Judge James 
Osborne, giving the closest attention to business and making 
his client's interest his own. 

He disliked litigation and used his influence with his 
clients for compromise. For object lesson to this effect, he 
kept hanging in his office a print of two farmers quarreling 
over a cow ; one had the cow by the tail and the other had 
her by the horns, while the lawyer sat quietly on his stool 
getting all the milk. I copy from his journal January. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 20$ 

1844, his first court: "I had one case of some importance. 
We agreed to leave it to arbitration. I got my client off 
remarkably well. He had been sued for $300, but the plain- 
tiff did not get a cent. I got a fee of $5.00." Seeing that 
he put his whole soul into the case of his client, one asked 
him how he felt when he lost a case. "I do the best that is in 
me for my client, and then accept the consequences." Just 
so he had done with the result of the war. 

Being convinced that it was wisest for the South to accept 
the reconstruction acts of 1867, he allied himself with the 
Republican party, and though very sensitive to the opinions 
of his fellow men, he was tenacious of his principles and no 
amount of ridicule or opposition could make him swerve 
from what he considered the part of duty. But "during the 
most violent and bitter struggle in the State, political dif- 
ference detracted nothing in the public estimation from the 
substantial worth of his personal character." And when in 
1875, the State Convention was held to amend the Constitu- 
tion, he was elected as a Republican from the Democratic 
county of Mecklenburg; and in 1880, though defeated for 
Lieutenant-Governor, he went far ahead of his party in his 
own county. 

In 1884, Gen. Barringer retired from the active practice 
of law and devoted himself to his farming interests and to 
literary pursuits. 

He was much interested in general education, made it a 
point of paying tuition for some needy boy or girl, and was 
largely influential in establishing the graded school in Char- 
lotte in 1874, advocating an industrial feature in connec- 
tion with it. He was also a warm advocate for the Agricul- 
tural and Mechanical College, and was numbered among 
the first trustees. He was for years trustee of Davidson 
College. He and Dr. Hutchison and Col. Myers were for a 
number of years trustees of the Biddle University, which 
was included in the home mission work of the Northern 
Presbyterian Board. He was greatly interested in watch- 
ing the result of educating the colored man. 



206 HISTORY OF 

One who was intimately associated said : "The one thing 
about Gen. Barringer that struck me above all others, was 
his love for his fellow men. He was a man of broad ana 
true thought. We had never had any conversation, but 
what he spoke of the different classes and how to better 
their conditions. 

"He was always thinking of how to better conditions, and 
was filled with a high sense of duty. His thoughts went 
out beyond himself. 

"Another thing that impressed me about Gen. Barringer 
was, that while I never knew him in perfect health, he never 
grew old. 

"He sympathized with the thoughts and schemes of every 
man. All schemes ecclesiastical and social, he entered into 
with zeal and interest. He was largely influential in the 
establishment of the library in Charlotte, and of the Histori- 
cal Society, contributing freely to both." 

I quote from another that knew him well : "Gen. Barrin- 
ger was a remarkable man in many respects. He was one of 
the most liberal and generous citizens Charlotte had. His 
hand was always in his pocket to give to any good cause and 
his gifts were munificent. He was eminently a just man 
and was business to the core. He required the last farthing 
promised or agreed to be paid, not for money's sake, but 
for the sake of the agreement, and yet the next moment 
would give freely to some good cause." 

He was a student and devoted much time to political 
economy. He had great faith in the "power of the press," 
and frequently wrote for the papers on various subjects. 
He was progressive in his ideas beyond the times. 

Besides the history of the First North Carolina Cavalry, 
he published a pamphlet for the Historical Society on "The 
North Carolina Railroad," one on "The Battle of Ramsour's 
Mill," and a series of "Sketches on the Old Dutch Side." 
These brought him letters from all over the South and West. 

One of a large family, happy in each other, he followed 
in the footsteps of his parents, ruling well his household, in 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 207 

a firmness of love, believing with Ruskin, "There is a some- 
thing in a good man's home which cannot be renewed in. 
every tenement that rises on its ruin." A young woman 
who had been much in his home, said: "When alone in the 
great crowds of New York battling with poverty, it has 
rested and comforted me to think of his home and to know 
that there are such men in the world." 

Gen. Barringer was married three times. His first wife 
was Eugenia, daughter of Dr. Rcbt. Hall Morrison. To 
them were born two children, Anna, who died at maturity, 
and Paul Brandon Barringer, now of the University of Vir- 
ginia, with a large family of his own. 

The second wife was Rosalie Chunn, of Asheville, Avho 
had one son, Rufus Barringer. In 1870 Gen. Barringer 
married Margaret Long, of Hillsboro, who, with her son, 
Osmond Long Barringer, lives at the home place in Char- 
lotte. 

He was a man who lived not only in the present, but in the 
future, and on the approach of the three score and ten allot- 
ted to man, he felt that the world's work were better done 
by more active men. 

Though not shirking any evident duty, he resigned for- 
mally from responsibilities as school trustee, bank director, 
church elder, etc. 

In 1894, he felt his health declining and with his usual 
methodical care and forethought, he "set his house in or- 
der," arranged his papers and affairs, and instructed his 
agent, so that no confusion might arise on account of his 
death. To the end his mind was clear and strong. He read 
and kept up with current events in the daily papers to the 
day of his death, February 3, 1895. He bade his family 
"Farewell." folded his hands and fell asleep. 

Though liberal to all denominations, Gen. Barringer was 
in faith strongly Calvinistic. 

He said : "When a young man and about to connect 
myself witli the church. I resolved to take no man's word, 
and to search the Scriptures for myself. This I did and to 



208 HISTORY OF 

my mind, the Presbyterian doctrine was plainly set forth 
in every chapter. I have never seen cause to change my 
belief or to be troubled by any new doctrine." 

He passed through deep waters, but said: "Through it 
all God sustained me." 

On one of his last days, he said to his pastor: "If you 
can unfold to me any new truth of that better land, do so." 

The reply was : "I cannot ; all I say is, we shall be sat- 
isfied when we awake in His likeness." To this he calmly 
answered : "It is enough." — Contributed. 



*TH 






1PVBU 



*'s^sc 







zebulox b. van::- 



15he Grea.t Commoner, Z. B. Vance. 

To ignore the name of Senator Vance in the history of 
Mecklenburg, is to leave unrecorded a name of a man "who 
was not born for a day, but for all time." In the year 1866 
Gov. Vance became a citizen of this county, and remained a 
citizen of the county., and always came here to vote, up to 
the time of his death, which occurred April 14, 1894. 

"Zebulon Baird Vance was born in Buncombe county, 
North Carolina, May 13, 1830; was educated at Washing- 
ton College, Tenn., and at the University of North Carolina 
studied law; was admitted to the bar in January, 1852, and 
was elected county attorney for Buncombe county the same 
year; was a member of the State House of Commons in 
1854; was a Representative from North Carolina in the 
Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses; entered the Con- 
federate army as captain in May, 1861, and was made colo- 
nel in August, 1 861 ; was elected Governor of North Caro- 
lina in August, 1862, and re-elected in August, 1864; was 
elected to the United States Senate in November, 1870, but 
was refused admission and resigned in January, 1872; was 
elected Governor of North Carolina for the third time in 
1876, and in January, 1878, was elected to the United States 
Senate; was re-elected in 1885, was again re-elected in 1891, 
and died at his residence in Washington April 14, 1894." 

His paternal and maternal ancestors both were revolu- 
tionary patriots. The "Vance Homestead" was a large 
frame building of the "olden time" with broad stone chim- 
neys, indicative of comfort and hospitality. It stood near 
the French Broad river and in the midst of the Blue Ridge 
mountains. Now the house has been taken down and only 
a few stones remain to mark the site where it once stood. 
It is a place of beauty. 

In front of it the river is smooth and placid as a lake; 
above and below it dashes and roars into a mountain tor- 



2IO HISTORY OF 

rent, and you almost hear the echoes of the ocean. Around 
it the great mountains tower like giants, and their dark for- 
ests are mirrored in the deep, blue bosom of the stream. 
On this scene, amid sublimity and beauty, Vance first beheld 
the light of heaven. From this beautiful river, from these 
sublime mountains, from neighboring scenes, all bristling 
with heroic and patriotic recollections, he received his first 
impressions. These were the books from which he learned 
the lessons that were to be the foundations of his illustrious 
career. He was the son of the mountains, and I rarely 
looked on him without being reminded of them. 

At the University, Vance remained two years and pur- 
sued a selected course of studies, and soon made a name for 
genius, wit and oratory. He was a special favorite of Pres- 
ident Swain, who for so many years had exerted a powerful 
influence in elevating and directing the youth of the South 
and made all of us who came under it better citizens and 
better men. Young Vance was extremely popular with 
the students and also with the people of the village of 
Chapel Hill. Even then reports came from the University 
of his brilliant wit, his striking originality and his high 
promise. 

He served one session in the State Legislature, and there 
gave unmistakable earnest of the illustrious life before him. 
He was elected to the House of Representatives in the 
Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses and took distin- 
guished position in that assembly, which has been the lists 
•of so many statesmen. In 1861, upon the adjournment of 
Congress, he returned home, and seeing that war was inev- 
itable, raised a company of volunteers, marched to Virginia 
and soon afterwards was elected colonel of the Twenty-sixth 
Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, a regiment justly dis- 
tinguished for the largest loss of killed and wounded during 
the war of any regiment, either North or South. 

He had always been opposed to the secession of the South- 
ern States, did everything possible to avert it, and was one 
of the very last Southern men to declare his love and devo- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 211 

tion to the Union. In the battle of New Bern, N. C, in 
March, 1862, Col. Vance was conspicuous for courage and 
coolness, and received the highest commendation for his sol- 
dierly conduct on that field. In August of that year he was 
elected Governor of the State, and received the almost unan- 
imous vote of the soldiers. In 1864 he was re-elected Gov- 
ernor by a very large majority, and held the executive office 
until the occupation of Raleigh by Gen. Sherman in April, 
1865. As the executive of North Carolina his administra- 
tion was signally distinguished by great ability, vigor and 
energy, by ardent and constant fidelity to the Southern Cause, 
and by wise foresight and prudent husbandry of all the re- 
sources of the State. He was in every sense governor of 
the State. From the day on which he entered upon the 
duties of the office until the hour when he laid it down, his 
commanding genius asserted his competence for the great 
responsibilities of the position, and his administration de- 
served and received the unbounded confidence, support, and 
approbation of all the patriotic people of North Carolina. 

He called to his councils the wisest, the best, the most 
trusted men in the State of all shades of patriotic sentiment. 
He inspired the people with renewed love for the struggle; 
he united the discordant elements among us; he animated 
the despondent; he tolerated the conscientious lovers of 
peace; he rebuked the timid; he brought back to life the 
spirit of our revolutionary patriots ; he gave new hope to the 
army; he aroused the pride of the State; he strengthened all 
its means, and prepared for war to the end. Well may he 
have been designated as the "Great war Governor of the 
South." These acts of his administration are justly entitled 
to be ranked as historic. First, the organization of a fleet 
of vessels to sail from Wilmington, N. C, to Europe, with 
cargoes of cotton and return with supplies for the soldiers 
and essential necessaries for the people. This supreme en- 
terprise was eminently successful. For months and years 
the Advance and other vessels, commanded by skillful of- 
ficers, well manned and adequately equipped, went like sea- 



212 HISTORY OF 

birds across the ocean to Europe, laden with the great 
staples of the South, and returning with stores of needed 
supplies, triumphantly eluding the blockading squadron, 
and sailed with colors flying up the Cape Fear to Wilming- 
ton. The soldiers were clothed and fed, cards and spinning 
wheels, sewing and knitting needles were furnished to our 
noble women, machinery for looms, surgical instruments, 
medicines, books and seeds, were all brought home to a suf- 
fering people. The history of the war does not present an 
example of greater wisdom and success. 

Second: In 1864 and 1865, when the resources of the 
South were absolutely exhausted, when our noble armies 
were reduced and hemmed in on every side, ragged, hungry 
and almost without ammunition ; when starvation and 
famine confronted every threshold in the South, and a mor- 
sel of bread was the daily subsistence of a family , 'in that dark 
and dreadful hour Gov. Vance first appealed to the Govern- 
ment at Richmond, and finding it perfectly helpless to give 
any relief, summoned his Council of State and by almost 
superhuman efforts prevailed upon the destitute people of 
North Carolina to divide their last meal and their pitiful 
clothing with the suffering Union prisoners at Salisbury. 
Humanity, chivalry, piety, I invoke from you a purer, bet- 
ter, holier example of Christian charity in war. 

Third : During his administration as Governor in North 
Carolina, although war was flagrant, though camps covered 
the fields, though soldiers were conscripted by thousands, 
though cold-hearted men of ample means refused supplies 
to soldiers with bleeding feet, though the whole militia was 
armed, though thousands of deserters, refugees from duty, 
were arrested ; though the War Department daily called for 
more men; though every art and artifice and device was 
practiced to keep the soldiers from the field; though spies 
and traitors were detected and seized; though traders in 
contraband of war were consequently caught flagrante de- 
licto and captured ; though in all counties in time of war 
civil authority has been compelled to submit to military 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 213 

necessity and power, yet in North Carolina during - the war, 
the writ of habeas corpus, the great writ of liberty, was 
never for one moment suspended. Immortal history! 
Worthy of Mecklenburg and the 20th of May, 1775. 

In 1876. Gov. Vance was for the third time elected Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, and his administration was the 
beginning of a new era for our State. The millions of 
fraudulent bonds that were passed and recognized by the 
State Legislature, were promptly scaled down to what they 
yielded the State. Our legislative hall had been filled with 
our former slaves, scalawags and men of uncertain places to 
dwell. All these things of a bad smelling odor, that proved 
so detrimental to our State were driven away by the great 
tribunal of our State. From this time onward North Caro- 
lina has taken on new life. 

In 1878 he was elected to the Senate, and until he died, 
remained a member of that body, having been elected four 
times as a Senator. His record in the Senate is part of the 
Nation's history. He vigilantly defended the rights, honor, 
and interests of the Southern States, not from sectional pas- 
sion or prejudice, but because it was his duty as a patriot 
to every State and to the Union. He was bold, brave, open, 
candid, and without reserve. He desired all the world to 
know his opinions and positions, and never hesitated to 
avow them. 

His heart, every moment, was in North Carolina. His 
devotion to the State and the people was unbounded; his 
solicitude for her welfare, his deep anxiety in all that con- 
cerned her, and his ever readiness to make every sacrifice in 
her behalf was daily manifested in all his words and actions. 
Senator Vance was an uncommon orator. He spoke with 
great power. His style was brief, clear, and strong; his 
statements were accurate and definite; his arguments com- 
pact and forcible; his illustrations unsurpassed in their fit- 
ness; his wit and humor were the ever waiting and ready 
hand-maids to his reasoning, and always subordinated to 
the higher purposes of his speech. They were torch-bearers, 



214 HISTORY OF 

ever bringing - fresh light. He always instructed, always in- 
terested, always entertained, and never wearied or fatigued 
an audience, and knew when to conclude. The Senate 
always heard him with pleasure, and the galleries hung upon 
his lips, and with bended bodies and with outstretched necks 
would catch his every word as it fell. He rarely, if ever, 
spoke without bringing down applause. His wit was as in- 
exhaustible as it was exquisite. His humor was overflow- 
ing, fresh, sparkling like bubbling drops of wine in a goblet; 
but he husbanded these rare resources of speech with admir- 
able skill, and never displayed them for ostentation. They 
were weapons of offense and defense, and were always kept 
sharp and bright and ready for use. He was master of irony 
and sarcasm, but there was no malice, no hatred in his swift 
and true arrows. Mortal wounds were often given, but the 
shafts were never poisoned. It was the strength of the bow 
and the skill of the archer that sent the steel through the 
heart of its victim. But strength, force, clearness, brevity, 
honesty of conviction, truth, passion, good judgment were 
the qualities that made his speech powerful and effective. 
He believed what he said. He knew it was true, he felt its 
force himself, his heart was in his words, he was ready to 
put place, honor, life itself upon the issue. This was the 
secret of his popularity, fame and success as a speaker. 

He studied his speeches with the greatest care, deliber- 
ated, meditated upon them constantly, arranged the order 
of his topics with consummate discretion, introduced author- 
ities from history, and very often from sacred history, pre- 
sented some popular faith as an anchor to his ship, and con- 
cluded with a sincere appeal to the patriotic impulses of the 
people. No speaker ever resorted to the bayonet more fre- 
quently. He did not skirmish; he marched into the battle, 
charged the centre of the lines, and never failed to draw 
blood of the enemy. Sometimes he was supreme in manner, 
in words, in thought, in pathos. He possessed the thunder- 
bolts, but, like Jove, he never trifled with them; he only in- 
voked them when gigantic perils confronted his cause. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 21 5 

In 1 876, upon his third nomination for Governor, speak- 
ing- to an immense audience in the State House Square at 
Raleigh, he held up both hands in the light of the sun and, 
with solemn invocation to Almighty God, declared that they 
were white and stainless ; that not one cent of corrupt money 
had ever touched their palms. The effect was electric ; the 
statement was conviction and conclusion. The argument 
was unanswerable. It was great nature's action. It was 
eloquence, it was truth. 

Senator Vance's integrity and uprightness in public and in 
private life were absolute; they were unimpeached and un- 
impeachable — he was honest. It was his priceless inheri- 
tance which he leaves to his family, his friends, his country. 
He was an honest man. Calumny fell harmless at his feet; 
the light dissipated every cloud and he lived continuously 
in its broad rays ; his breast-plate, his shield, his armor was 
the light, the truth. There was no darkness, no mystery, no 
shadow upon his bright standard. His compeers will all 
remember the loss of his eye in the winter of 1889. How 
touching it was — a sacrifice, an offering on the altar of his 
country. For no victim was ever more tightly bound to the 
stake than he was to his duty here. How bravely, how 
patiently, how cheerfully, how manfully he bore the dread- 
ful loss. But the light, the glorious light of a warm heart, 
a noble nature, a good conscience, an innocent memory, was 
never obscured to him. 

In his long, tedious illness no complaint, no murmurs 
escaped his calm and cheerful lips. He was composed, firm, 
brave, constant, hopeful to the last. His love of country 
was unabated, his friendship unchanged, his devotion to 
duty unrelaxed. His philosophy was serene, his brow was 
cloudless, his spirit, his temper, his great mind, all were 
superior to his sufferings. 

His great soul illuminated the physical wreck and ruin 
around it, and shone out with clearer lustre amid disease 
and decay. Truly he was a most wonderful man. His last 
thoughts, his dying words, his expiring prayers, were for 



2l6 HISTORY OF 

his country, for liberty and the people. A great patriot, a 
noble citizen, a good man, it is impossible not to remember, 
to admire, to love him. No man among the living or the 
dead ever so possessed and held the hearts of North Caroli- 
na's people. In their confidence, their affection, their devo- 
tion, and their gratitude he stood unapproachable — without 
a peer. When he spoke to them they listened to him with 
faith, with admiration, with rapture and exultant joy. 
His name was ever upon their lips. His pictures were in 
almost every household. Their children by hundreds bore 
his beloved name, and his words of wit and wisdom were 
repeated by every tongue. 

What Tell was to Switzerland, what Bruce was to Scot- 
land, what William of Orange was to Holland — I had 
almost said what Moses was to Israel — Vance was to North 
Carolina. I can give you but a faint idea of the deep, fervid, 
exalted sentiment which our people cherished for their great 
tribune. His thoughts, his feeling, his words were theirs. 
He was their shepherd, their champion, their friend, their 
guide, blood of their blood, great, good, noble, true, human 
like they were in all respects, no better, but wiser, abler, with 
higher knowledge and profounder learning. Nor was this 
unsurpassed devotion unreasonable or without just founda- 
tion. For more than the third of a century, for upwards of 
thirty years, in peace or in war, in prosperity and in adver- 
sity, in joy or in sorrow, he had stood by them like a brother 
— a defender, a preserver, a deliverer. He was their martyr 
and had suffered for their acts. He was their shield and 
had protected them from evil and from peril. He had been 
with them and their sons and brothers on the march — by 
the campfires, in the burning light of battle; beside the 
wounded and dying; in their darkest hours amid hunger and 
cold, and famine and pestilence, with watchful care had 
brought them comfort and shelter and protection. They 
remembered the gray jackets, the warm blankets, the good 
shoes, the timely food, the blessed medicines, which his sym- 
pathy and provision had brought them. In defeat, and in 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 217 

tumult, amid ruin, humiliation and the loss of all they had, 
he had been their adviser, he had guided them through the 
wilderness of their woes and brought them safely back to 
their right and all their hopes. He had been to them like 
the north star to the storm-tossed and despairing mariner. 
He had been greater than Ulysses to the Greeks. He had 
preserved their priceless honor, and saved their homes, and 
was the defender of their liberties. He was their benefac- 
tor. Every object around them reminded them of his care, 
every memory recalled, every thought suggested his use- 
fulness and their gratitude. 

The light from their school house spoke of his services 
to their education. The very sight of their graves brought 
back to their hearts his tender devotion to their sons; and 
the papers and the wires with the rising of almost every 
sun bore to their pure bosoms the news of his success, his 
triumphs and his honors. They were proud of him; they 
admired him — they loved him. These, these were the foun- 
dations, the solid foundations of his place in their minds and 
in their hearts. From the wind-beaten and storm-bleached 
Cape Hatteras to the dark blue mountain tops that divide 
North Carolina and Tennessee, there is not a spot from which 
the name of Vance is not echoed with honor and love. But 
his influence and his fame were not confined within State 
lines. 

In New England the sons of the brave Puritans admired 
his love of liberty, his independence of thought, his freedom 
of speech, his contempt for pretensions and his abhorrence of 
deceit. The hardy miners in the far West and on the Pacific 
hills felt his friendship and were grateful for his services. 
Virginia loved him as the vindicator of her imperiled rights 
and honor. From the farms and fields and firesides of the 
husbandmen of the republic there came to him the greeting 
of friends, for he was always the advocate of low taxes 
and equal rights and privileges to all men. From all the 
South he was looked upon as the representative of their sor- 
row and the example of their honor; and all over the civ- 



2l8 HISTORY OF 

ilized world the people of Israel — "the scattered nation" — 
everywhere bowed with uncovered heads to the brave man 
who had rendered his noble testimony and tribute to the 
virtues of their race. Even the officers, the sentinels and 
watchmen over him in the old capitol prison, in which he 
was confined on the alleged and wrongful charge that he 
had violated the laws of war, were spell-bound by his genial 
spirit and became his devoted friends up to the hour of his 
death. His genius, his ability, his humanity, his long con- 
tinued public service, his great physical suffering, a martyr- 
dom to his duty, the sorcery of his wit, the magic of his 
humor and the courage of his convictions had attracted the 
universal sympathy and admiration of the American peo- 
ple. 

In this brief summary is embraced a great life. County 
attorney, member of the State House of Commons, Repre- 
sentative in two Congresses, Captain and Colonel in the 
Southern army; three times elected Governor of his State, 
and four times elected to the Senate of the United States. 
What a record and what a combination. A great states- 
man, a good soldier, a rare scholar, a successful lawyer, an 
orator of surpassing power and eloquence, a man popular 
and beloved as few men have ever been. Great in peace and 
great in war, equal to every fortune, superior to adversity 
and greater still, superior in prosperity. Successful in every- 
thing which he attempted, eminent in every field in which 
he appeared, and fitted for every effort which he undertook. 
He was master of political science, and distinguished in 
scholarship and literature. His political speeches were 
models of popular oratory and his literary addresses were 
compositions of chaste excellence. He wrote an electric edi- 
torial and drafted a legislative bill with equal clearness and 
brevity. His pen and his tongue were of equal quality. He 
used both with equal power. He wrote much ; he spoke 
more. Everything emanating from him wore his own like- 
ness. He borrowed from no man. He imitated no man 
and no man could imitate. He was unique, original, won- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 219 

derful, incomprehensible unless he was a genius with facul- 
ties and powers of extraordinary and exceptional character. 
His temper was admirable, calm, well-balanced, serene. He 
cared less for trifles than any man I ever knew. He brushed 
them away as a lion shakes the dust from his mane. In this 
respect he was a giant. He was like Sampson, breaking the 
frail withes that bound his limbs. He was never confused, 
rarely impatient, seldom nervous, never weak. He was mer- 
ciful in the extreme. Suffering touched him to the quick. 
He was compassion itself to distress. He was as tender as a 
gentle woman to the young, the weak, the feeble. He was 
full of charity to all men, charitable to human frailty in 
every shape and form and phase. He had deep, powerful 
impulses, strong and passionate resentments — in the heat of 
conflict he was inexorable, but his generosity, his magna- 
nimity, his sense of justice was deeper and stronger and bet- 
ter than the few passing passions of his proud nature. To 
his family and friends he was all tenderness and indulgence. 
His great heart always beat in duty, with sympathy, with 
the highest chivalry to woman. 

" The man that lays his hand upon a woman, 
Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch, 
Whom 't were great flattery to name a coward," 

was always upon his lips. 

He was ambitious, very ambitious, but with him ambi- 
tion was a virtue. He aspired to be great that he might be 
useful, to do good, to improve and to benefit and to help 
mankind. His was not the ambition of pride and arrogance 
and of power. It was the ambition of benevolence and phi- 
lanthropv, the ambition to elevate, to lift up, to bless human- 
ity. 

From early manhood he has possessed a respectable com- 
petence. At no time did he ever suffer penury. He hus- 
banded with great care his resources and was prudent, fru- 
gal, thoughtful in his expenditures, but he never turned a 
deaf ear to pity or to sorrow. He was not avoricious; he 
had no love for money, and was never rich in gold, silver, 



220 HISTORY OF 

and precious stones or lands, but he was opulent in the con- 
fidence and affections of the people. His great wealth was 
invested in the attachments, the friendships, the faith, the 
devotions of his fellow men ; that priceless wealth of love of 
the heart, of the soul, which no money can purchase. In 
many respects he was very remarkable. In one he was sin- 
gularly so. He never affected superiority to human frailty. 
He claimed no immunity from our imperfection. He real- 
ized that all of us were subject to the same conditions, and 
he regarded and practiced humanity as a cardinal virtue and 
duty. 

Senator Vance was happy in his married life. In his 
early manhood he was married to Miss Harriet Newell 
Espey, of North Carolina. She was a woman of high intel- 
lectual endowments, of uncommon moral force, of exem- 
plary piety and exercised a great influence for good over 
her devoted husband, which lasted during his life. Their 
union was blessed with four sons, who survived their par- 
ents. His second wife was Mrs. Florence Steel Martin, of 
Kentucky, a lady of brilliant intellect, of rare grace and re- 
finement, who adorned his life and shed lustre and joy on 
his home; and after his course was finished, he fell asleep 
in her arms. He loved the Bible as he loved no other book. 
All of his reverence was for his God. He lived a patriot and 
philanthropist, and he died a Christian. This is the sum of 
duty and honor. He has gone. His massive and majestic 
form, his full, flowing white locks, his playful, twinkling 
eye, his calm home-like face, his indescribable voice have 
left us forever. He still lives in our hearts. The great 
Mirabeau, in his dying moments, asked for music and for 
flowers, and for perfumes to cheer and brighten his mortal 
eclipse. Vance died blessed with the fragrance of sweetest 
affections, consecrated by the holiest love, embalmed in the 
tears and sorrows of a noble people. The last sounds that 
struck his ear were the echoes pf their applauses and grati- 
tude, and his eyes closed with the light of Christian promise 
beaming upon his soul. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 221 

On the night of the 16th of April, his remains were borne 
towards the mountains of the State he loved so well. The 
night was beautiful; the white stars shed forth their hal- 
lowed radiance upon earth and sky. The serenity was 
lovely. The whole heavens almost seem a happy reunion of 
the constellations. With the first light of day the people, 
singly, in groups, in companies, in crowds, in multitudes, 
met us everywhere along the way — both sexes, all ages, all 
races, all classes and all conditions. Their sorrow was like 
the gathering clouds in morning, ready to drop every 
moment in showers. We carried him to the State House in 
Raleigh, the scene of his greatest trials and grandest 
triumphs; the heart of the State melted over her dead son. 
Her brightest jewel had been taken away. We left Raleigh 
in the evening, and passing over the Neuse, over the Yadkin, 
over the Catawba, up to the summit of the Blue Ridge, we 
placed the urn with its noble dust on the brow of his own 
mountain, the mountain he loved so well. There he sleeps 
in peace and honor. On that exalted spot the willow and the 
cypress, emblems of sorrow and mourning, cannot grow, 
but the bay and the laurel, the trees of fame, will there flour- 
ish and bloom in perpetual beauty and glory. There will 
his great spirit like an eternal sentinel of liberty and truth 
keep watch over his people. It would have been one of the 
supreme joys of my life to have done justice to the life and 
the character of this great and good man, to have enshrined 
his memory in eloquence like his own. But whatever may 
have been the faults of these words, I have spoken from a 
heart full of sorrow for his death, and throbbing with ad- 
miration and pride for his virtues." — Eulogy by Senator 
Ransom, the colleague of Senator Vance in the United 
States Senate. 



CeJvin Eli Grier. 

Calvin Eli Grier was born in Steele Creek Township 
on the 30th of December, 1845. He was the son of Col. 
William M. Grier, a man closely identified with the history 
of this county. His mother was, before her marriage, Miss 
Feriba Edwards, a daughter of Stouton Edwards, of York 
county, S. C. 

Steele Creek has been noted for its good schools and its 
interest in education, and in the academy near his father's 
home Calvin Grier studied until his fourteenth year. As a 
boy he early displayed a wonderful versatility, and those 
who were his companions at school tell of his progress in his 
studies and of the early age at which he read the Latin 
classics. 

In common with all the children raised in Steele Creek, a 
center of Presbyterianism, he was early trained to study the 
shorter Catechism. His father, a ruling elder in the Asso- 
ciate Reformed Presbyterian Church, taught him to per- 
fectly ask and answer every question in the Catechism be- 
fore he was four years old. 

In 1859, General, then Major D. H. Hill, founded his 
Military Institute in Charlotte, and to this Calvin Grier was 
sent as soon as the school was opened. At that time he was 
only fourteen, but he was a thorough student and the reports 
he received were most excellent ones. 

On the breaking out of hostilities between the North and 
the South, Gen. Hill closed his school. Many of the cadets 
were made officers and others hastened to offer their ser- 
vices to the Confederacy. 

Calvin Grier, though not fifteen years of age, enlisted in 
the Ranalesburg Rifles, a company then formed largely of 
Steele Creek men, and of which A. A. Erwin was captain. 
It seemed most appropriate that he should enlist in this com- 
pany, for Col. Grier, with true Southern generosity, had con- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 223 

tributed largely of his means in equipping this company, and 
so liberal was he to it during the war that some of the men 
referred to him as the "Father of the Ranalesburg Rifles." 
Young Grier remained with the company for one year, 
but at the end of that time was sent home on account of 
his extreme youth. But brave and ambitious, he could not 
bear to remain at home inactive while his companions were 
dying in defence of the South, so in 1862 he enlisted again, 
this time in Graham's Battery, which had been organized 
in Charlotte. He served with this battery but a short while, 
being transferred to his first command, where he remained 
till the close of the war. 

When the conflict was over, though only 19 years of age, 
Capt. Grier was acting Adjutant-General of Scales' Brigade, 
and had made a wonderful record for courage and daring. 
During the war he was seven times wounded, being shot 
through and through the body on two occasions, once at Bar- 
nett's Ford and again at Reams' Station. 

At the close of the war, Calvin Grier returned home to 
find his circumstances terribly altered. In place of wealth, 
he had poverty, and instead of vigorous, young manhood, 
he had a wrecked constitution, the result of the wounds 
from which he suffered all his life. 

With a heroism as great as that he displayed in battle, he 
took up his round of duties on his father's farm. In 1866 he 
began the study of law. All day he would plow on the farm 
and at night he would remain up late reading his law books. 
Once a week he came to Charlotte and recited to Osborne 
and Barringer. 

In spite of the obstacles with which he had to contend he 
made such rapid strides in his studies that at the end of a 
year he stood his examination and received his license to 
practice law. 

In 1868 he moved to Charlotte and began the practice of 
his profession. He formed a partnership with Capt. Armis- 
tead Burwell, but in about a year decided to locate in Dallas. 

In 1872 he returned to Steele Creek, broken down in 



224 HISTORY OF 

health, but in 1876 he moved back to Charlotte, where he 
made his home until the time of his death. For a number 
of years he was the law partner of Judge W. P. Bynum, and 
for some time he was solicitor of the Inferior Court of 
Mecklenburg county. 

In 187.8 he was married to Miss Addie Ramseur, of Lin- 
colnton, a sister of the gallant Major-General, Stephen D. 
Ranseur. 

In 1889, on the 1st of May, Capt. Grier died and was 
buried in Steele Creek cemetery, where rest his father, 
grand-father and great-grand-father. 

Nothing can be more appropriate than to quote what his 
friend, Mr. F. B. McDowell, says of him in his article on 
Steele Creek: "As I write of another the pen falters. He 
was so young, so generous, so gifted. His life, too, was so 
pathetic, and his existence seemed to end almost before it 
fairly began. If the war called some from the portals of the 
grave, it took others almost from the cradle. A mere strip- 
ling boy went forth as a volunteer. Intrepid as a Hampden, 
as daring as a Ney, he was twice shot through the body upon 
the enemy's breastworks, within touch of his guns. He 
brought back from the field painful wounds and a wrecked 
constitution; but with all his suffering he was an admirable 
companion and a natural leader and adviser of men; and no 
young man in this section and of this generation left a 
deeper impress of admiration and sympathy upon those who 
knew him best, than Calvin E. Grier." — Contributed by Miss 
Feriba Grier. 



Matthew Wa.lla.ce and His Family. 

The people of Mecklenburg probably know less of this 
family than any family of equal mental ability that ever lived 
in the county. Matthew Wallace came from Western Penn- 
sylvania a young man, and married a Miss Young, daughter 
of Joseph Young, who with his brother William, emigrated 
from the north of Ireland to Pennsylvania; after remaining 
in Pennsylvania one year, removed to Mecklenburg, North 
Carolina, in or about the year 1765. Mr. Matthew Wallace 
lived and died a close neighbor to old Mr. Andrew Hender- 
son (on the creek a short distance above the mill). He had 
eight children, viz. : Kesiah, Minty, Harriet, Eveline, Ru- 
fus, Pinkney, Joseph and Newton. Harriet married James 
P. Henderson. They raised three sons, Philo, Matthew 
(who died when a boy), and Thomas — none ever married. 
The two daughters married. Martha married E. L. 
Burney and Lilly married J. C. Caldwell, of Winsboro. S. C. 
Minty married David Henderson, and had two children. 
C. A.- Henderson, M. D., who died (childless) a few years 
ago in Greenville, S. C. He had been married twice, but 
left no issue. Margaret married Dr. Frank McRee. They 
had but one living child, who married Mr. J. G. Shannon- 
house, of Charlotte. Eveline married Samuel M. Moore, 
and but one child reached adult age — John W. Moore. Ru- 
fus Wallace studied medicine, practiced in Charlotte, was a 
brilliant young man, never married, and died young. 

Matthew Wallace was a prominent man in the county in 
his clay ; was a surveyor of land, which at that time brought 
him prominently before the people. He was also a magis- 
trate for a long time, and chairman of the old County Court. 
He at one time sentenced a man to stand in the stocks for 
two hours. The sheriff told the worshipful court the stocks 
were not in fix to hold him. The chairman replied : "Fasten 
him in the crack of the fence, and do it at once." The order 



226 HISTORY OF 

was promptly obeyed. He was said to have been the prime 
mover in having the court house removed from the public 
square to West Trade street, as Mr. Alex. McAulay was the 
prime mover to have the new court house built on the site 
of Queen's Museum, on South Tryon street. 

Mr. Wallace and his children are buried in the old grave- 
yard at Sugar Creek church. 

Mr. Matthew Wallace's wife must have been a remarkably 
brainy woman. At this late day it is impossible to get an 
insight into her mental capacity; but it is beyond question 
that the Young family were equal to if not superior to the 
Wallaces. Her three daughters who lived to be grown and 
married, were far beyond mediocracy. James P. Hender- 
son's children were all exceedingly bright, and very hand- 
some. Philo was quite a poet, was a gifted writer, had been 
graduated at the University of North Carolina. A younger 
brother, "Tom," as he was called by every one, took the first 
honor at Davidson, and then at Cambridge; was a great 
reader of books, never entered a profession; joined the Con- 
federate army in 1861, went through the war as a private, 
when there were few men in Lee's army, would compare 
with him in scholarship. He made a good soldier; came 
home and kept books for a mercantile house.' David Hen- 
derson's son and daughter were observed by the community 
as a head and shoulder above the compeers in intellectual 
attainments. The same was observed in Samuel Moore's 
children. His daughter Lizzie's praises were in the mouth 
of all who knew her. She died when budding into woman- 
hood. John W. Moore was deemed worthy to represent 
the county in the Legislature of the State. The name of 
Wallace — of that family at least — is now obsolete; but col- 
lateral branches, carrying the same blood, are still inhabi- 
tants of Mecklenburg. 



Captain John Randolph Erwin. 

The subject of this sketch was born on the ist day of 
August, 1838, in Bethesda township, York county, S. C. 
He was a son of William L. and Annie Williamson Erwin, 
who belonged to the old Scotch-Irish families who emi- 
grated to this country before the Revolution. 

Capt. Erwin was raised on a farm, and was educated in 
the old field schools, except two sessions spent at an academy 
in Ebenezer, S. C. 

In 1 85 1 William Erwin moved to Mecklenburg county, 
North Carolina, locating at Ranalesburg, Steele Creek 
Township, and from that time Mecklenburg was Capt. 
Erwin's home. 

In the fall of 1856 he entered the general merchandise 
store of Fisher, Burroughs & Co., of Charlotte, and re- 
mained with that firm until the winter of 1859. Then he de- 
cided to improve his fortunes by going West, so he went to 
Texas with a party trading on the Rio Grande. He re- 
mained there until South Carolina passed the ordinance of 
secession, when he sacrificed his business and returned to 
his home. He volunteered as a private in the Ranalesburg 
Rifles, but his popularity soon won for him the position of 
First Lieutenant of his company. Soon after organization 
this company was ordered to the camp oi instruction at 
Raleigh, and was at the capital when North Carolina seceded 
on May 20, 1861. The company was then ordered to Garys- 
burg, N. C, where he was made adjutant of the post by 
Col. W. D. Pender. Here it was that the Third, afterwards 
the Thirteenth Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, 
was organized, and Capt. Erwin was selected as Major of 
the regiment. Owing to the absence of his captain, who 
had been wounded, and to the earnest entreaties of his men, 
he declined this honor and remained with the company. 

The company was sent from Garysburg to Suffolk, Va., 



228 HISTORY OF 

and from there to Todd's Point, on the James river, where 
they spent the summer. In the fall the company was sent on 
detached duty to Ragged Island, opposite Newport News, 
and was in camp there and witnessed the naval engage- 
ment of 1861 in which the warships Cumberland and Con- 
gress were destroyed. In the spring of 1862 the regiment 
was ordered to the peninsula near Yorktown, to hold in 
check the advance of Gen. McClellan. 

In April of that year he was elected captain of a cavalry 
company, organized in Charlotte by Maj. M. N. Hart. 

After equipping and drilling his company at the old fair 
grounds at Charlotte, Capt. Erwin was ordered to join 
Evan's Battalion at Kinston, N. C. In the winter of 1862 
the battalion was ordered to Garysburg, where the Fifth 
Cavalry Regiment was formed; this regiment was sent to 
Virginia in 1863, and took part in the memorable campaign 
of Gettysburg. When the regiment went to Virginia Capt. 
Erwin was left at Garysburg with typhoid fever, and did 
not rejoin his men until they returned to Culpepper Court 
House, where the famous North Carolina brigade, composed 
of the First, Second, Third and Fifth Cavalry, was organ- 
ized. This brigade was commanded by the gallant Gor- 
don until his death in front of the breast works near Rich- 
mond in 1864, when Gen. Rufus Barringer took charge of 
the brigade. In this command Capt. Erwin served till the 
close of the war, taking part in all the battles in which his 
regiment was engaged. At the bloody battle of Chamber- 
lain Run his colonel, McNeil, and Lieut.-Col. Shaw were 
both killed, and Maj. Galloway being sick, the command of 
the regiment devolved on him to the close of the war. He 
did not surrender his regiment, but marched it back to 
North Carolina, and in Charlotte he received from John C. 
Breckenridge, Secretary of War, an order to disband his 
company. 

After the war Capt. Erwin again entered the mercantile 
field as a clerk for Taylor & Duncan, which position he held 
for two years. On the 5th of June, 1867, he was married to 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 229 

Miss Jennie, a daughter of Maj. Z. A. Grier, of Steele 
Creek. In January, 1868, Capt. Erwin moved to Steele 
Creek and began the life of a farmer. In January, 1873, 
he returned to Charlotte and accepted a position with W. 
H. Houston, a wholesale grocery merchant. In May, 1873, 
Capt. Erwin was elected city marshal, or chief of police, 
which office he held until April, 1875, when he was ap^ 
pointed by D. Schenck, judge of this district, clerk of the 
Superior Court of Mecklenburg county, in which capacity he 
served for twelve years. 

Upon his retirement the following tribute was paid him 
by Col. H. C. Jones, at the close of Capt. Erwin's last court : 

"I desire to call your honor's attention to the fact that the 
term of office of our much esteemed clerk, Capt. Erwin, 
is about to close. It has been many years since he entered 
upon the duties of his office, and in all that time he has dis- 
charged them so efficiently, with so much fidelity to the im- 
portant trust committed to him, with such patience and in- 
dustry, with such kindness and courtesy to the members of 
the bar, that I know I speak their sentiments when I say we 
part from him with feelings of affectionate regret. He 
came to the position entirely without experience and with- 
out any acquaintance with the business that his office de- 
volved upon him, but he devoted himself to the task with 
such patient industry that he soon became, what I now pro- 
nounce him, one of the best — if not the very best — clerks 
within the limits of this State." 

In May, 1878, Capt. Erwin's wife died, and on the 1 ith of 
December, 1879, he was married to Miss Sallie, daughter of 
Col. William M. Grier, of Steele Creek, and a sister of 
Calvin E. Grier, a prominent lawyer of Charlotte, who died 
in 1889. 

After leaving the clerk's office, he retired to his farm in 
Steele Creek, where he had made large investments in a 
milling plant. 

In 1888 he was elected chairman of the Finance Commit- 
tee of the county, which position he held until 1892, when 



230 HISTORY OF 

he was elected a member of the State Legislature. Although 
his first experience as a law-maker, he at once took a prom- 
inent position and was the chairman or a member of several 
committees. 

In August, 1893, he accepted a position as private secre- 
tary to Congressman S. B. Alexander, and spent two years 
in the City of Washington. In 1895 he moved back to 
Charlotte and in the same year was made chairman of the 
Board of County Commissioners. During his administra- 
tion and through his influence, the first iron bridges were 
erected for the county of Mecklenburg. He was also chair- 
man of the committee which had in charge the building of 
the Mecklenburg county court house. 

On the 19th of March, 1901, while seated in the court 
house in Charlotte, he died very suddenly, and was laid to 
rest in the old cemetery at Steele Creek. 

During the war he had made an enviable record as a sol- 
dier, and to all who knew him his name was a synonym for 
honor and uprightness. — Contributed by Miss F. Grier. 



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Hon. James W. Osborne. 

This section is headed by one of the greatest men the 
country has ever produced, and no better eulogy can be pro- 
nounced than the following, written by Gen. D. H. Hill : 

"The nations of the earth, the most distinguished in his- 
tory, for prowess in the field, wisdom in legislation, progress 
in science and art, purity of taste in polite literature, and 
refinement in the social circle, are precisely those which 
have most cherished the memory of their heroes, statesmen, 
scholars and patriots. It has been well said that the land 
that erects no monuments to its illustrious dead, will soon 
cease to produce men worthy of a place in history. To 
neglect departed greatness is to degrade living eminence. 

"The Bible, with its wonderful adaptation to the wants of 
our race, sanctions cherishing tender recollections of the 
saints of the Lord. 'The righteous shall be in everlasting 
remembrance.' 'The memory of the just is blessed.' Here 
' we have a prophecy and a command, both involving a high 
obligation and a glorious privilege — to keep fresh and green 
in the minds of men the memory of those who died in the 
full hope of a blessed immortality." 

And thus the friends of the late Hon. J. W. Osborne 
feel that in attempting a tribute to his exalted worth, they 
are discharging a sad but gracious duty. It is meet that 
we should revere the memory of a man of mighty intellect, 
of profound scholarship, and of matchless eloquence, who 
brought all of his rare and varied gifts and accomplish- 
ments and laid them as an humble offering at the foot of the 
cross. There remains nothing now of his manly person 
and noble mein, of his vast learning and attainments, but 

" The knell, the shroud, the coffin and the grave, 
The deep, damp vault ; the darkness and the worm " 

His simple faith in Christ was worth a thousand-fold 
more than all his talents and acquirements, and the lesson 



232 HISTORY OF 

of his life comes home to every bosom, "With all your 
gettings, get understanding." We can now think with 
grateful satisfaction that those great powers of mind, which 
were our pride and astonishment on earth, are ever expand- 
ing in knowledge, ever getting new revelations of Divine 
love and ever attaining new degrees of holiness. The sad- 
dest sight on our afflicted earth is that of a man of great 
gifts, culture and refinement, living out of Christ and delib- 
erately choosing to spend his eternity with the coarse, the 
brutal and the depraved. With heartfelt gratitude, we 
adore that distinguished love which made our illustrious 
countryman choose that good part which shall not be taken 
away. Judge Osborne was born in Salisbury, N. C, on the 
25th of December, 181 1, and died in Charlotte on the nth 
day of August, 1869, so that he hardly passed the meridian 
of life, and until a short time before his death, "His eye 
was not dim, nor his natural force abated." He was a 
graduate of our State University at Chapel Hill. He was 
always an earnest student, devoted especially to the sciences. 
The extent and variety of his reading was truly marvel- 
ous. There was scarcely a subject he had not looked into, " 
if indeed he had not mastered it. Few clergymen outside 
of our theological seminaries were so well read in theology. 
He said on one occasion that there was a charm about the 
study of theology that no other reading possessed for him, 
and he devoured huge volumes of theologic lore with the 
most eager relish. Fluency of speech was a natural gift 
with Judge Osborne, and this, combined with his vast ac- 
quaintance with books, made his language the very choicest 
Anglo-Saxon. His warm-hearted, genial, pleasant man- 
ner, and bright, kindly face added a charm to the whole, 
which was absolute. He had no equal as a conversational- 
ist, and his intimate friends can never forget the grace and 
fascination of his address. And so his ready command of 
the best words, his learning, his enthusiasm, his sonorous 
voice and graceful delivery, made him one of the very first 
orators in the land. The magic spell thrown around Judge 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 233 

Osborne in the social circle and on the hustings was his im- 
perturbable good temper, and that proceeded from his large- 
hearted humanity, his sincere and unaffected love for his 
race. He had a kind word and a pleasant smile for every- 
body, simply because he loved mankind. He needed not a 
veil of charity to cover their crimes and frailties; in his own 
simple guilelessness he did not know their faults. Those 
who had known him for thirty and forty years, say that 
they never saw him angry. He had not an enemy among 
the people with whom he lived since early manhood. The 
most remarkable thing in the career of this great man was 
the hold he had upon the hearts of men of every creed and 
party, although in his official capacity he had often been 
opposed to the interests and wishes of the many. 

He was admitted to the bar in Charlotte in the year 1833. 
He took a high stand in his profession at the very outset 
and maintained it while he lived. This was not due merely 
to his genius, his learning, and his eloquence, but in a large 
degree to his unselfish and sympathetic nature, which made 
him adopt his client's cause as his own and identify himself 
thoroughly with the interest, the views and feelings of the 
client. He was twice elector for the State at large, first in 
the Clay campaign and then in the contest between Seymour 
and Grant. He was appointed by President Fillmore super- 
intendent of the United States Mint at Charlotte, which 
he held for four years. He was chosen by Gov. Ellis to 
fill a vacant judgeship in 1859, and the General Assembly 
confirmed the selection November 26, i860. But it is as 
the Christian gentleman, we love to think of our illustrious 
statesman. He was sincerely and unaffectedly devout; a 
lover of God and man. We who were in the belt of the 
late total eclipse of the sun, observed a black spot projected 
on the lower limb of the sun. Gradually, the dark shadow 
crept higher and higher. The cattle came lowing home. 
The bewildered fowls of the air sought their roosts. The 
black spot crept higher and higher, until darkness covered 
the sky, with here and there a star sending forth a ghastly 



234 HISTORY OF 

and unnatural light. Then the sun, like a mighty giant, 
threw off the black mantle and came forth in all his strength, 
beauty and majesty, rejoicing our hearts with some glorious 
beams that had been hid for a time. And thus, as our friend 
was a star of the first magnitude, we contemplate his death 
as a temporary eclipse, and believed that when the shadows 
of earth have passed away, the brilliant intellect that dazzled 
us below, will shine out with renewed effulgence above. 

REV. JOHN HUNTER. 

Of this worthy pioneer have descended a number of min- 
isters of the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church. 

Rev. John Hunter was the son of Thomas Hunter, a godly 
and pious man. He first saw the light in Mecklenburg 
county, N. C, November 13, 1814. Graduating at Jeffer- 
son, Pa., September, 1841, license was granted by the First 
Presbytery April 17, 1843. His first pastorate was over 
Back Creek, Prosperity and Gilead, this county, being sol- 
emnly ordained and installed July 24, 1844. For three years 
beginning in 1855, he served a colony mostly of Mecklen- 
burgers in Alleghany county, N. C. In September, 1858, 
he began his ministry at Sardis and was formerly installed 
January 11, 1859. 

His ministry was very successful. To the west in 1874, 
Ebenezer was built, now self-suppporting and ministered 
unto by the able and judicious Dr. G. R. White. 

On the east in 1886, Thyatira was erected. In this new 
and incompleted building occurred his death stroke and last 
effort to preach. In March, 1886, after singing and prayer, 
Luther, infant of Annie and E. B. Williams, was baptized. 
His text, I Cor., 13:13, was given out, but after proceeding 
a few minutes, his voice faltered and ran lower. As he 
seemed to be falling, his son, Dr. L. W. Hunter, and others 
eased him down. Being partially paralized, he succeeded in 
making them understand he wanted the 23rd Psalm sung. 
This was the first service in Thyatira, and his last effort to 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 235 

preach — a dedication of sacrifice. He lingered for some 
four years ripening- for that heaven to which he had so often 
directed sorrowing hearts and fell asleep in Jesus May 16, 
1890. He was thrice married. First to Miss Isabella H. 
Peoples July 18, 1843. His second marriage was to Mrs. 
Martha Simon ton Bell December 10, 1861. A third mar- 
riage was contracted with Miss Mary Ann McDill October 
9, 1866. Rev. John Hunter had much of the spirit of John 
Knox, fearless, with the courage of his convictions, consci- 
entious and scrupulously upright in his dealings, popular as 
a preacher and loyal to his church, he lived respected and 
trusted and died devout, men carried his mortal remains to 
the grave and made great lamentations over him. 

THE HUNTER FAMILY. 

Rev. William May Hunter, son of R. B. and Rebecca W. 
Hunter, was born February 1, 1850; sought the ministry 
from inclination; took a full course, literary and theological, 
at Due West, S. C. Dr. W. M. Grier gave him a diploma 
July 10, 1872, the First Presbytery license September 8, 
1874, and the same court ordaination in the chapel, Char- 
lotte, N. C, October 19, 1875. The first three years were 
spent in Charlotte, reinforced with a judicious help meet 
and prudent wife September 11, 1877, one year was spent 
in Georgia; ten years in Iredell county, N. C, as pastor of 
Stirling and Elk Shoal ; ten more years in Mecklenburg as 
pastor of Prosperity and in the faculty of the Huntersville 
High School, and also Gilead. He now is stated supply of 
Lebanon, Monroe county, West Virginia. 

Robert Boston Hunter, lately gone to his reward, July 17, 
1902, aged 83 years, 1 1 months and 8 days, wedded Janu- 
ary 9, 1845, t'° Rebecca Wilson Jones, a woman of tireless 
energy and devoted piety. They climbed in fortune and 
favor, zeal for the church and devotion to their children. 
One characteristic of R. B. Hunter was his choice of good 
company. He abhorred the low and the base. To his hos- 



236 HISTORY OF 

pitable home he welcomed piety and intelligence. Another 
was his tireless industry. If he prospered, it was the reward 
of toil and foresight. He and his devoted wife were ex- 
ceedingly zealous that their children be trained in hand, 
mind and heart for life. The poor did not stretch out their 
hands to him in vain, the wives of soldiers in the Civil War 
were the special objects of his favor. — Contributed by Rev. 
W. M. Hunter. 

[The first of the large Hunter family that came to this 
country, that is to Mecklenburg county, was about 1760. 
Like all others, they followed farming, and were not differ- 
ent from other people. They have made wonderful strides 
in education in the last fifty years. They are a quiet, law- 
abiding people. Prosperity is one of their oldest churches. — 
Editor.] 



T5he Descendants of Some of the Famous Men 
Who Fought in the Revolutionary War. 



"BLACK BILLY" ALEXANDER. 



Daniel Alexander, son of "Black Billy," was a man of 
wonderful energy. He was a farmer of more than ordinary 
capacity; but was unfortunate financially, having large 
amounts of security debts to pay. While a young man he 
courted and married Miss Susan Shelby. He then lived 
within the bounds of Sugar Creek. He had three sons, viz., 
Mark, Frank and Winslow; they also had three daughters. 
Isabella married, first, Mr. Charles Moss, to whom she bore 
one son (who now lives in Charlotte), and soon afterwards 
he died, leaving her a blooming young widow. She was 
very pretty, and was much courted. She married her second 
husband, Mr. Joab Smith, with whom she lived pleasantly 
for many years. Their children — some of whom live in 
Charlotte, Mrs. M. F. Kirby, is a worthy descendant. Mar- 
garet married Mr. M. D. Johnston, who was a professor of 
Mathematics at Davidson College. He was a man of fine 
learning and eminent piety. They left a small family. Mr. 
D. A. Johnston, two miles east of the city, is a worthy repre- 
sentative of that excellent family. Martha, the youngest of 
the family, married John T. Harry, in 1853, and moved 
West. She had but one child — a daughter — and died. 

Of the boys we know but little. Winslow moved West, 
lived in Chattanooga, Tenn., Memphis, and back to Ashe- 
ville, keeping a hotel. He married Margaret Alexander 
from near Rocky River. He had two sons, the eldest, 
Charles Carrol, was probably the brightest young man ever 
graduated at Davidson up to his time, 1853. He died young 
in Florida. Col. Winslow Alexander moved back to Char- 
lotte in the early sixties. His daughter Laura married Capt. 
W. B. Taylor, at present city tax collector. They have raised 



238 HISTORY OF 

a family that the city is proud of. Mrs. Taylor finished her 
course about a year ago, and left her husband surrounded 
with grown children and a multitude of friends. Mark Alex- 
ander moved West and left no son or daughter to keep his 
name in remembrance. Franklin married a Miss Gilmer, a 
sister of the well-known Drs. James and Samuel Gilmer. 
They left three boys and two girls. One of the sons died a 
short time ago; one lives in Alabama, and one, R. B. Alex- 
ander, lives in Charlotte. Mr. Daniel Alexander once en- 
gaged in cultivating the morus multicaulus, to feed silk 
worms; he had a large orchard planted west of Church 
street. From 1838 to 1845, it was quite fashionable to en- 
gage in silk culture. But no glowing reports were ever put 
out after 1845. About this time he moved to Davidson 
College and kept a large boarding houses — students princi- 
pally, his price being six dollars per month — and he made 
money at it. This was in 1850-54. These were good peo- 
ple, and were valuable citizens. Four miles north of Char- 
lotte Isaac Alexander's widow lived in 1846, where a Miss 
Chamberlain taught a large female school for several years, 
with great satisfaction; but she married a merchant of 
Charlotte, Mr. R. C. Carson, a Christian gentleman. The 
widow, Anabella, married old ''Uncle" Dan Alexander, 
who had become a widower, and they too soon passed away. 

THE HENDERSON FAMILY. 

In or about the year 1750, Kearns Henderson and Eliza- 
beth Robinson, who were married in Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, November 14, 1749 (copied from marriage 
certificate) moved to this section ten or twelve years before 
Mecklenburg county was established. It is presumed that 
farming was the principal pursuit. They had three sons, 
but no daughters are mentioned. Andrew grew up with 
those stern, prominent features that were characteristic of 
the times in which they lived. Andrew, it is strange to say, 
also married, like his father, Elizabeth Robinson. They 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 239 

were of no relation ; it was a mere coincidence. This was in 
1780. They were blessed with two sons and seven daught- 
ers. They reached a ripe age, and filled a good position in 
church, as well as citizens of the country. Their daughters 
were as follows: Mary married William Alexander. He 
was known as "Blind Billy" Alexander. They had one son, 
Harvey, who never married; two daughters, who were 
twins, Teressa married Wm. B. Alexander, and Clarissa 
married Harper Kerns. Both had families. Nancy, Mar- 
garet, Elizabeth, Griswold, never married, but continued at 
the old homestead till death. Jane married Birch Cheshire, 
and left two sons. Harriet married John R. Alexander. 
She was certainly one of the most devotedly pious women 
that our country possessed. Their family was noted for 
energy and good deeds. Their daughter Amanda, a very 
bright, pretty and highly accomplished young woman, was 
wooed and won by Rev. W. W. Pharr, D. D., a most excel- 
lent and learned minister. He had the happy faculty of heal- 
ing ugly breaches in a congregation, or in a community. 
He might have been called the Peacemaker of the Church. 
He was very popular as a man and as a preacher. 

They left two sons and one daughter. The oldest son, 
John R. Pharr, is in the state of single blessedness ; is suc- 
cessful in business, and lives with and takes care of his aged 
step-mother. Dr. William W. Pharr is engaged in practic- 
ing medicine at Newells. He married a daughter of Mr. 
Elam Queery, and has quite an interesting family. The 
daughter, Miss Mary, married Rev. Mr. Arrowood, and is 
living now in South Carolina. Their daughter Elizabeth, 
married Dr. Watson Rankin, of Cabarrus county. They 
both have passed away a number of years ago. Their chil- 
dren are scattered in various sections of other counties and 
States; but are in a prosperous condition. Miss Nannie 
married a Mr. Stewart, of Florida, who soon died, and his 
widow spends much of her time here but still holds her 
farm in Florida, Miss Sophia married Mr. John Sample, of 
Memphis, Tenn. Both soon died without offspring. 



24O HISTORY OF 

Capt. A. H. Alexander moved to Florida in 1866, where 
he still resides. He is now up in seventy years, his health 
is poor and has but a few years left. T. LaFayette Alexan- 
der was long a resident of Charlotte, was a most successful 
merchant. He was a kind, good man, and did much for his 
kin who were not so well off. He left one daughter and two 
sons. Capt. Francis Alexander gave his life for the inde- 
pendence of the South, and for the rights of the States. He 
was killed the 17th of June, 1864, near Petersburg. 

Rev. W. W. Pharr's second wife — who was a daughter of 
General Neal, of Steele Creek — had two sons and two 
daughters, who are fit representatives of their worthy par- 
ents. Mr. James Pharr is a merchant of standing, and is 
held in high esteem in both Church and State. Mr. Neal 
Pharr chose the legal profession, which brings him a hand- 
some revenue, and he promises to occupy an honorable posi- 
tion in the county. 

Kairns Harvey Henderson never married, but let a quiet, 
useful life. 

David Robinson Henderson lived five miles north of 
Charlotte, cultivated a farm, was successful in all his ven- 
tures. He had also a farm on both sides of the Catawba: 
also one in Alabama. This one he visited on horseback once 
or twice a year. He married Peggy Alexander, daughter of 
Wm. B. Alexander. In his frequent visits from home, last- 
ing some times two or three months, he would leave every- 
thing pertaining to the farm in the hands of his wife. She 
was indeed an "help meet." They raised four sons and one 
daughter. The daughter, Jane, married E. C. Davidson, of 
the Hopewell neighborhood, where Mrs. Davidson still lives. 
She has three sons, two of whom are physicians, and one a 
farmer; one daughter, Mary, married Arthur Parks in Ire- 
dell county. Miss Sadie, "heart whole and fancy free," en- 
joys life as a typewriter in Charlotte. Wm. Bane Hender- 
son graduated at Davidson College, and moved to Alabama. 
Andrew R. Henderson was a thorough-going farmer, raised 
elegant crops, but was too confident of his friends meeting 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 24I 

their obligations. Being- security for them, they left him to 
pay their debts. He married a Miss Rutlidge, and raised 
an interesting family just over the Catawba river in Gaston 
county. Mr. A. R. Henderson died in the spring of 1902. 
Dr. J. Mc. Henderson was a prominent practitioner of med- 
icine seven miles north of Charlotte. He was well known in 
the northern part of the county. He married a Miss Sim- 
merell. Dr. Henderson died a few years after the Civil 
War. 

Dr. Simmerel Henderson, his son, is single, lives at the 
homestead with his mother and sisters, does a large practice 
and enjoys life. His elder brother, Pink Henderson, married 
a Miss Dowd, and lives near Croft. A good farmer, a mem- 
ber of the County Commissioners, and is altogether a useful 
man in his community. 

Mr. J. Harvey Henderson, the youngest son of David R. 
Henderson, lived at the homestead, married a daughter of 
Batt Irwin, Esq. He had four children, three sons and one 
daughter. Harvey H. lost his wife probably twenty-five 
3^ears ago. He moved to Charlotte fifteen years ago. His 
boys are in business here and are doing well. Mr. Hen- 
derson died in 1901. His daughter, Miss Ella, lives with 
her brothers. 

The daughters of Dr. J. Mc. Henderson, one, Margaret, 
married Dr. John R. Irwin, who has recently moved to 
Charlotte. He is one of the foremost physicians in the city, 
has a very interesting family. He is giving his children 
every possible advantage in a good education. Another 
daughter married Dr. Elmore Wilson, of Catawba. They 
hold the traits of their ancestors, provided well for their 
children. The three who are single are engaged in teaching. 

Doctor Kairns Henderson married and had twoi sons, 
David and James P. Henderson. Devid Henderson 
lived six miles north of Charlotte on the Statesville road. 
He was a good farmer, and operated a small tanyard. He 
first married a Wallace. She bore him two children. They 
were uncommonly bright. They lived to be about 60 years 



242 HISTORY OF 

old. His second wife was a daughter of Isaac Henderson — a 
third cousin of his. There was eight children by the second 
wife. His son Charles lives in the old homestead. James 
P. Henderson lived near Derita. He, too, married a Wal- 
lace; most intelligent family, and bore wonderfully smart 
children. They had two sons and two daughters. Philo 
was a graduate of the University of North Carolina. He 
was the recognized poet of the county. 

Mr. Henderson moved to Davidson College in the forties, 
and continued there until the war. His daughters married 
off, Philo was dead, his wife was dead, Tom w'as in the 
armv. He married the second time. In a little while death 
claimed all but the daughters. 

Another of these brilliant women married Mr. Samuel 
Moose. The branch of the Wallaces were remarkable for 
their intellectual capacity. Dr. Thomas Henderson was one 
of the earliest physicians that ever practiced in the county. 
He lived in Charlotte and married the widow Baldwin, who- 
ever she might have been. In those early days the great 
strife was to push forward, to gain our independence, estab- 
lish our government, make laws to regulate the affairs of 
State, only to look forward and forget that which was past ; 
until much of our unwritten history has passed into a state 
of oblivion. No wonder we do not know who the widow 
Baldwin could have been, or who her first husband was. We 
do not know that Dr. Henderson and (Mrs. Baldwin) his 
wife ever bad but one son. Mr. Isaac Henderson ('he always 
looked lonesome) married a McRea. They lived on the 
Beattie's Ford Road, four miles northwest of Charlotte. 
They lived handsomely, an excellent house for the time, 
•owned quite a number of slaves, and everything around them 
t<> render the family happy and contented. He had one son, 
David, who also had one son, Dr. James Henderson, who 
died a few years since. The great majority of this family 
of Hendersons left their ashes to Sugar Creek burying 
ground. They lived peaceably together, in the same congre- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 243 

gation; and it is meet they should sleep in the same enclo- 
sure till the last trump shall sound. 

WIEUAM BROWN. 

In the northern part of the county, east of Huntersville, 
in Ramah congregation, Mr. William Brown settled, enter- 
ing 600 acres of land, prior to the Revolutionary War. In 
the last one hundred years the land has been cut up and 
divided into many parcels, but is still owned by the descend- 
ants of the Brown family. 

It is the plain, common people that constitute the back- 
bone of a country. They thought it was their Christian 
duty to enter the patriot army and contend for the independ- 
ence of America. In the war between the States, those Who 
were young enough as well as those who were old enough, 
did not hesitate to fight for the rights of the South ; and no 
man who bears the name of Brown has any apology to offer 
for taking sides with the South in the terrific struggle which 
lasted from 1861 to 1865. 

THE BEARD FAMILY. 

In about the year 1770, the Beard family came to this 
country from Ireland. John, Samuel and William Beard 
lived where John Beard the second afterwards lived, near 
the Statesville road, fourteen miles north of Charlotte. Wil- 
liam alone was married before he emigrated ;but his wife died 
before he reached the promised land. He married a second 
time in South Carolina. From her appearance when she 
was old, she must have been a woman of more than ordinary 
mental calibre. Mr. and Mrs. Beard raised one daughter 
and six sons. She married Milton Osborne, a man of fine 
parts, agreeable manners, an excellent farmer. He left a 
worthy family to perpetuate his name. The oldest soo, John 
Beard, married Camelia McRaven. They lived at the old 
homestead, raised a large family, the girls married well ; one 



244 HISTORY OF 

son was killed in the Confederate army, and the others 
moved West. William married Francis Brown; they were 
clever people; he had two sons in the Confederate army. 
His son Joseph gave his life for the Confederate cause, and 
J. C. Beard was not seriously hurt and is still living-, with a 
prospect of several more years, with his wife and daughters 
to cheer his old age. Robert Beard lived on the east side of 
the Statesville road. He was an excellent farmer, had 
everything in abundance, and was particular about his stock. 
He was never known to have a poor horse. He married 
Polly Knox. The whole Knox family were passionately 
fond of dancing, but there was no impropriety by carrying 
the amusement to excess. They also gave a son to the Con- 
federate army. This was a time when a patriot would give 
his all to defend his home. J. F. M. Beard escaped as few 
battles as any man in the army. He never complained, but 
was ready for duty always, and frequently stood picket 
duty every other night towards the close of the war. But 
he still lives, and his host of friends wish him a happy even- 
ing to a well spent life. He married Catherine Alexander, a 
daughter of Ezekiel Alexander. They have a happy family 
and are ranked with our best people. Samuel married 
Sabrian Hale, in Tennessee, and spent but a few years in 
North Carolina. James married a Miss Humphreys. He 
worked a tanyard for many years, and moved to Marion^ 
Richard lived on the east side of the Statesville road, lead a 
peaceful life, and was highly esteemed in all the relations 
of life. He, too, married a Miss Humphreys, of Tennessee. 
They raised a nice family, who are among our best citizens. 
The old grand-mother was fortunate to< find a home to end 
her last days in the family of her son, where every want was 
gratified. They were good people, held to the Associate Re- 
formed Presbyterians. The older set, both men and women, 
have long since passed away. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 245 

DANIEL m'CAULAY. 

Mr. Daniel McCaulay, who lived in the same neighbor- 
hood, lived about the same time. His son Hugh, a compeer 
of the Beards, was a noted surveyor ; had a family of eight 
children — Daniel, Hugh, Alexander and John were all in 
the Confederate army; Daniel and Hugh died in service; 
Alexander and John are still living. They are all very intel- 
ligent, and useful citizens. The women were very smart — 
poetically inclined. Like the Beards, they were "seceders." 

J. M. HAPPOLDT, M. D. 

J. M. Happoldt came to Charlotte previous to 1840. 
He was well equipped for practicing his profession, did his 
share of the work, was a fluent conversationalist. At one 
time he became the; victim of typhoid fever. He lay for 
several weeks, was desperately ill, and was attended by Drs. 
Caldwell and Harris. They would devote their personal 
attention' to nursing him, giving him medicine, food, and 
what he needed. At this time ready-made coffins were un- 
heard of. Each neighborhood had a skilled workman, gen- 
erally a cabinet maker, who made all the coffins needed. 
Charlotte was not a whit behind other places, and old Archie 
Miles — the cabinet maker — was always ready to build the 
last house for any one who had been a good citizen. In fact 
he was anxious to accommodate, as times were dull and he 
did not like to lose a job. It was his custom to inquire very 
often if such and such a one was better or not, until it was 
a standing joke. Every morning during the extreme illness 
of Dr. Happoldt, Archie Miles would be seen wending his 
way along the street to make the usual enquiry, and return 
disappointed. So one day he rested well, and Dr. Pink 
Caldwell set up that night, and towards daylight the blinds 
were closed and the bed curtains were drawn to shut out the 
rays of light, so that his slumber should not be disturbed, 
Dr. Caldwell quietly withdrew. Just as he stepped on the 



246 HISTORY OF 

pavement, who should he see but his friend Archie coming 
— buttoning - his clothes as he trotted briskly up the street, 
calling in a loud whisper, "Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Caldwell, how 
is Dr. Happoldt?" "Well, Archie," Dr. Caldwell answered, 
"Our poor friend has gone, after a long struggle." The 
coffin-maker no longer hesitated, but at cnce mounted the 
steps, threw the door open, entered the supposed death 
chamber, opened wide the window shutters, drew the cur- 
tains to one side, and placed his thumb on one end of the 
measuring tape on his forhead, and began unwheeling the 
tape, when the supposed corps was awakened and asked : 
"What in the hell are you doing?" Archie looked like he 
had seen a ghost, and got out of the house quicker than he 
went in. It is needless to say that the patient's recovery 
was hastened by the undertaker's misadventure. 

wm. w. ELMS. 

Wm. W. Elms, as a citizen, deserves more than a passing 
notice. He was born in the southern part of the county, 
not far from the South Carolina line. He came to Charlotte 
in 1829, and clerked for Mr. John Irwin for several years. 
Then the firm name was Irwin & Elms. Then after several 
years he dissolved copartnership with Irwin and moved 
from Irwin's corner to a house now occupied by Mr. Frank 
Andrews, and had the following clerks, viz. : A. H. Martin, 
Billy Owens, Washington Blair, Ed. Moss, James Harty, 
and others as needed. S. Nye Hutchison and Jasper Stowe 
at one time helped Mr. Elms in the dry goods trade. 

In 1848, the firm name changed to Elms & Logan Mar- 
tin, when Columbus Irwin clerked for them. And, after- 
wards, it was W. W. Elms alone. He was very popular as 
a merchant and did an enormous business. After 1852, 
when the Charlotte & Columbia Railroad was finished here, 
Mr. Elms was the principal cotton buyer in the market. He 
built several elegant houses, and did much to improve the 
town. He was the leading spirit in building the Lincolnton 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 247 

Plank Road that brought much produce to market. These 
roads soon fell into decay, but they served a good purpose 
in giving an example what good roads were worth, and 
after the people saw the practical working, they did not stop 
until Mecklenburg had the best roads in all the country. 

col. j. y. BRYCE. 

J. Y. Bryce came to Charlotte when quite a young man, 
from South Carolina, having been raised in Columbia, and 
belonged to a family who associated with the Barnwells, 
Rhetts, Hamptons, DeSeasure and all that class of people 
who gave the State her reputation for chivalry that she sus- 
tained for so many years. 

Col. Bryce engaged in the mercantile business, in which 
he was successful. He married a daughter of Dr. L. G. 
Jones, took an active part in building up all the interests of 
the town. He could not help but advocate the right of seces- 
sion, and when the time came for action instead of talk, he 
was not slow in going to the front. He was very painfully 
wounded, from which he never fully recovered. Soon after 
the war he went to New York and speculated in cotton when 
the price was high, and amassed a large fortune. After he 
returned to Charlotte, he was plied by a number of persons 
to join them 1 in various speculations. He steered clear of 
the sharpers for a while, but finally yielded and was soon 
spoiled of his entire fortune. He engaged in working the 
marl beds in the eastern part of the State, it did not take 
well with the farmers, and although he worked it faithfully 
for several years, it proved a failure. After this his health 
declined rapidly and he died in 1897. His family moved 
soon away. He was liked by all with whom he came in 
contact. 

CHARLES ELMS SPRATT. 

In 1842 Charlotte was still a village, although it was more 
than half a century old. At this date Mr. Spratt came to 



248 HISTORY OF 

Charlotte, a young man of more than ordinary appearance, 
of good family, and of fine physique — born and educated be- 
low where the town of Pineville now stands. He came here 
in 1842 to clerk for Moss, Springs & Co. This proved a 
pleasant firm to work for, but in three years he formed a 
partnership with R. F. Davidson at Irwin's corner, under 
the style of Davidson & Spratt. This venture lasted only 
eighteen months, when he sold out to W.W. Elms, and went 
to New York. He there clerked in a woolen house, but after 
one year he returned to Charlotte, and in 1849 bought out 
Elms, where Mr. Frank Andrews now has a sewing machine 
store, and formed a partnership with Dr. John Allison, un- 
der the name of Spratt & Allison. This house kept the finest 
goods in the town, was patronized by wealthy people in the 
surrounding counties. The firm continued for three years, 
when Mr. Spratt sold out to Allison & Daniel, and joined 
with W. W. Elms in the grocery business and buying cot- 
con. Mr. Spratt was married in 1850 to Miss Margaret, 
daughter of Brawley Oates, probably the most handsome 
couple ever married in Charlotte. Brilliant intellect as well 
as beauty of feature appears to be handed down in the fam- 
ily, like an interesting heirloom. 

ISAAC ALEXANDER, COMMONLY CALLED " CLERK ISAAC." 

This is one of the oldest families of Mecklenburg county. 
For a great many years he was clerk of the Court, which 
was then as now, a most important position, and conse- 
quently none but the best men in the county were capable of 
filling. He lived about four miles from town ; had his office 
at home, where he carried all papers belonging to the Court 
and the county. He had a certain day on which he would 
meet the people, and during court week, he was at the 
court house every day. His daughters assisted him much 
in writing. He lived between Sugar Creek and Providence. 
He was a regular worshipper at Sugar Creek, and was 
buried there in the second grave yard, south side of the big 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 249 

road leading to Charlotte. He was born in 1798. He mar- 
ried a sister of David Reese. How particular the people 
were to keep their posterity on a high plain, never to go 
backwards, but if possible keep up the strain, or improve it. 
He died at a good old age, 74. His sister, Elmira Alex- 
ander, married John Rankin, from Guilford county. They 
lived west of Sugar Creek two miles. They were good peo- 
ple and valuable members of society. They afterwards 
moved on the same place where the old clerk spent his days 
of toil and pleasure. She and her husband were married 
on the night the "stars fell" in 1833. They, too, have 
passed away, and their son, William Rankin, now holds 
forth on the same place that his grandfather occupied. He 
has a wife and daughters that remind you so much of the 
earlier settlers. 

Charles T. Alexander, a worthy son of Clerk Isaac Alex- 
ander, lived on the same place, but in another house, having 
built a new one. He never married, was very popular with 
the young ladies, loved their company, and in return was 
visited by them. A young peoples' club was not complete 
without him. 

As an elder, he often attended church courts. He was re- 
garded by all as a good Christian man. He died at 72 years 
of age. 

HON. JAMES A. DUNN. 

Back in 1840, Hon. James A. Dunn was one of the most 
influential men in the county in all his several relations of 
life. After Union county was cut off from Mecklenburg in 
1845, Col. Dunn lived in Union county. He served this 
county for several terms in the State Legislature with 
great acceptability. He was the leader of everything that 
tended to help the masses ; was always active in educational 
enterprises, and what was for the best of the county. He 
was a large farmer, and did his work well. He was a neigh- 



250 HISTORY OF 

bor to Dr. Ardrey, just across the creek, and attended Prov- 
idence Church, and at last found a resting place in the grave- 
yard, where he had been a worshipper during his life; also 
his three wives rest here with him. His first wife was Miss 

His second wife was the widow 

Ingraham — Miss Walkup. His third wife was the widow 
Stitt. He was a happy man, and did much good in his life- 
time. Something more than a half century ago he passed 
away, but has left a memory behind him that is cherished 
by those who would have their works to follow them. 

JOAB ORR. 

Joab Orr, who lived in the same neighborhood, was also 
noted in his day, but it was in another direction. He was 
noted for his skill in playing the fiddle. This appears to 
have been his chief delight, and to see that the dancers kept 
step to the music. 

Joab Orr had three beautiful daughters, naturally smart, 
and if living in the civilization of the present day, and had 
the advantages of education that are enjoyed now, they 
would have been leaders of the fashionable world, as their 
father was the leader of music, especially on the violin. 
They lived at the place now known as the Henigan place, 
south of Little Sugar Creek, where President Polk is said 
to have been born. This section of the country was noted 
for the staunch patriots furnished the American army from 
1775 to 1 78 1. It is an elegant body of land, well watered, 
and owned by the best of citizens, most generally descend- 
ants of those who cultivated these lands "when we lived 
under the king." 

Pineville, two miles from the South Carolina line, was 
marked off as a railroad station on the Charlotte & Colum- 
bia road, is quite a depot for distribution of farmers' sup- 
plies, a cotton factory, stores, etc. It is a central point for 
that section of the county, and among the many good people 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 25 1 

who live and have lived around here, I will mention the 
name of Alexander. Many of that name lived within five 
miles, all connected and all were good people. I can go 
back sixty years and can truthfully say that I have never 
heard of one of the name who was guilty of a mean or dis- 
honorable action of any kind. 



Ma.ny Men Who Sustained a. Splendid Reputa- 
tion as Ministers of the Gospel in the Various 
Years of the Nineteenth Century. 

REV. JOHN MCK. WILSON, D. D. 

A man whose boyhood was spent amidst the impressive 
events and influences of the Revolution, and gained a name 
not to be forgotten, was Rev. John McKamie Wilson, D. D. 
He was born six miles east of Charlotte in the bounds of 
Sugar Creek, of which church his widowed mother was a 
member. With Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Jackson and her son 
Andrew, found a refuge, and for a time a home, when the 
families of Waxhaw, on the borders of South Carolina, 
were flying from the ravages of the enemy. The sons of 
these widows, John and Andrew, worked and played together 
and, together with their mothers, attended the preaching of 
Rev. Joseph Alexander, then pastor of Sugar Creek. John 
never dreamed that he was running, wrestling and working 
with a boy that was to be President of the United States; 
nor did Andrew, when measuring strength and speed with 
John, think how difficult it would be to measure the height 
of usefulness to which his young playmate was destined to 
reach ; nor the vast influences which he was to set in opera- 
tion for good. 

John McKamie Wilson was born in 1769. At the age 
of 12 years be began his classical education at Liberty Hall, 
at Charlotte, then under the management of Dr. Henderson. 
His literary training was completed at Hampden-Sidney, 
Va.. where he graduated with distinction. Having fully 
and heartily consecrated himself to Christ, he devoted his 
life to the ministry. His theological training and prepara- 
tion was received under Rev. James Hall, D. D., of Iredell 
county. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Orange in 
1793, and was sent out to do missionary work in the lower 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 253 

part of the State. His next field of labor was in Burke 
county, where he remained until 1801. His ministry was 
very fruitful in elevating the standard of piety, organizing 
new churches and building up those which had been pre- 
viously planted in that county. 

While living in Burke he married Miss Mary Erwin, 
whose father was Alexander Erwin, of that county, in 
whom he found the intelligence, piety and sweetness of dis- 
position which made her a great blessing to her husband 
for more than thirty years. He was called from Quaker 
Meadow to Rocky River and Philadelphia churches in 1801, 
where he spent the strength of his vigorous manhood and 
the declining years of his life. About the year 181 2 he, at 
the earnest request of many, opened a classical school about 
one mile from his house, and for twelve years that congre- 
gation and many others, enjoyed the advantages of one of 
the most flourishing and successfully managed academies in 
all the country. During those years twenty-five of his stu- 
dents entered the ministry, and many others were prepared 
for position of public trust. As a minister and teacher of 
youth, he was eminently wise in management. He died 
July 30, 1 83 1. Among those who entered the ministry 
from that school may be named Dr. Cyrus Johnston, at one 
time pastor of Providence and Sharon, and who died in 
Charlotte, the pastor of the First Church ; R. H. Morrison, 
D. D., Henry N. Pharr. and Alexander Wilson. 

REV. JOHN ROBINSON. 

Rev. John Robinson was born in Sugar Creek congrega- 
tion in 1768. Like his friend Dr. Wilson, he was born in 
troubulous times, when it seemed that society was to be torn 
up by the roots, and the civilization of that period to be 
utterly destroyed, and the people forced into subjection to 
the tyranny of England. He was too young to enter the 
patriot army, but when twelve or fifteen years old, was at 
school at Queen's Museum, under the special care of Dr. 



254 HISTORY OF 

Henderson, who was an instructor in 1780. The most of 
his ministerial life was spent at Poplar Tent. He had a 
large field to operate in, and allowed no part to suffer for 
want of his attention. He took an active part in the great 
revivals of 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805 and 1806. 

On one occasion as he came home from church, he was 
passing a man driving a wagon. When the wagoner, judg- 
ing him to be a minister, began blackguarding, and cursing 
him, whereupon he alighted from his horse, took off his coat 
and carefully laid down, and addressed his coat, "Now Par- 
son Robinson, you lie there till I whip this man." He was 
so deliberate in his preparation the wagoner begged his par- 
don, and promised never to insult another preacher when 
attending to his own business. 

He was a native of Mecklenburg, and like Dr. Wilson, 
moved just over the county line, hence we have no apolo- 
gies to offer, for they belonged to us. After living the full 
measure of his days, he died December 15, 1843. 

REV. SAMUEL C. CALDWELL. 

Rev. Samuel Craig Caldwell was a son of Dr. David 
Caldwell, of Guilford, who was a noted Patriot in the Revo- 
lutionary war. His mother was a daughter of Alexander 
Craighead, whose body lies buried three miles east of Char- 
lotte, in the first graveyard of Sugar Creek church. Mr. 
Caldwell's first charge was Hopewell and Sugar Creek, in- 
stalled in 1792. In 1806 he moved to Sugar Creek and ten- 
dered his resignation of his services at Hopewell, devoted 
his time to Sugar Creek, Mallard Creek, Paw Creek, and 
Charlotte. The last three were not organized when he be- 
gan preaching; but afterwards he organized Mallard Creek 
and Paw Creek. The latter has changed its name to Cald- 
well. Mr. Caldwell taught a large classical school at Sugar 
Creek, and also taught a theological school. He was a 
busy man. 

It was at his school that young Wallis, a nephew of Mr. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 255 

Caldwell's first wife (both he and Mr. Wallis married 
daughters of John McKnitt Alexander), delivered his 
speech on "The 20th of May, 1775, the Declaration of In- 
dependence in Charlotte was Declared." This speech was 
delivered in 1809, when there was still living 1 several of the 
signers and more than a score of those who participated in 
the War of Independence. If he had made a mistake about 
dates, surely it would have been corrected on the spot, when 
it was spoken in the presence of a large crowd, two of the 
sons-in-law of Mr. Alexander being present, and it is more 
than probable that the old secretary himself was present, for 
this was eight years before his death, and he lived but eight 
miles away. 

Mr. Caldwell raised seven sons and two daughters — 
two by his first wife, Jane Bain, a daughter of John Mc- 
Knitt Alexander, and Dr. D. Thomas Caldwell, who lived a 
useful life to both Church and State. He practiced medi- 
cine for many years, and raised a worthy family. But three 
of his children survive. Baxter runs the farm successfully, 
is an ex-Confederate, is proud of his war record, is a bach- 
elor; his sister, Miss Alice, lives with him. They live hap- 
pily in the congregation of Sugar Creek, close to the graves 
of his ancestors, and near the tomb of Alexander Craig- 
head. 

Another daughter still living is Mrs. Sarah Jane, who 
married George Donald, of Greensboro. She is a woman 
of deep piety, and well versed in the literature of the day. 

By the second wife Rev. S. C. Caldwell was blessed with 
nine children, in addition to the two by the first marriage-— 
the daughter having married Rev. Walter Smiley Pharr, 
who spent the most of his life preaching at Ramah and 
Mallard Creek. He had one son, the Rev. S. C. Pharr, D. 
D., who was a very popular preacher. He had a most won- 
derful flow of language, and was regarded far beyond the 
ordinary. 

Five of the sons by the last or Lindsay wife, were minis- 
ters; but one served a church in Mecklenburg, Rev. J. M. M. 



256 HISTORY OF 

Caldwell. He preached for a number of years at Sugar 
Creek. In 1845 he moved to Rome, Ga., served the church 
there very acceptably, and taught a female school for many 
years. He had three sons to enter the ministry. Harper 
Caldwell moved to Mississippi in 1845. He, too, had three 
sons to enter the ministry. Walter P. Caldwell, a lawyer of 
Greensboro, had but one son, Robert Ernest, and he is one 
of the most eminent divines in North Carolina. His 
daughter by the Lindsay wife, Abigail Bain, married Robert 
D. Alexander, Esq. They raised five children, the eldest 
of whom, Rev. Dr. S. C. Alexander, now of Pine Bluff, 
Ark., has been a minister for more than fifty years. It is 
wonderful how many have followed in the path marked out 
by their progenitor — Rev. Alexander Craighead. Mr. 
Craghead was an early settler in our county, in 1758, and 
was regarded as a wise teacher, both in religion and resist- 
ance to British tyranny. 

Rev. Mr. S. C. Caldwell, who preached so long at Sugar 
Creek, left a lasting impression on the community for 
good. For fifty years after his death, which occurred in 
1829, people lived who talked freely about his manners and 
ways. He left a lasting impress "upon the sands of time" 
that will continue to exercise a wholesome influence in 
Mecklenburg county long after his hearers and associates 
are forgotten. The peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of the 
fathers are certainly transmitted to the sons through many 
generations, or to use a more homely phrase, "preaching 
appears to run in the family." 

REV. JOHN WILLIAMSON. 

Rev. John Williamson went to Hopewell as pastor in 
1 8 18, and gave great satisfaction for twenty-four years, 
when death closed his pastorate in 1842. He was popular as 
a man, a pastor, and a preacher. His wife was a Doby, and 
filled the bill of what a preacher's wife should be. She was 
in deed a helpmeet to her husband. She, too, passed away 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 257 

two years later. Hopewell church yard was a fitting place 
to lay them away. Mr. Williamson is the first and only 
minister that has ever found a sepulcher in Hopewell cem- 
etery. The eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, married Rev. A. 
H. Caldwell, and at once moved to Mississippi, with the 
younger children, where their lives were spent in doing 
good. Mrs. Caldwell is still living, in reach of her family, 
and is abundantly supplied with this world's goods, and 
has the pleasure of knowing that three of her sons are regu- 
larly ordained ministers. Mecklenburg has probably sent 
out to other States more men who afterwards entered the 
learned professions than any other county in the State. 

REV. SAMUEL WILLIAMSON, D. D. 

Mr. Williamson was a native of South Carolina, gradu- 
ated at the University of South Carolina, with the first 
honors of the institution. In 1837 he was elected a pro- 
fessor at Davidson College, which position he held for sev- 
eral years, and the office of President becoming vacant, Mr. 
Williamson was elected president of the college. He was a 
man of very brilliant attainments. He was said to have 
been one of the finest Latin scholars in the State ; a preacher 
of very great power. He was an off-hand speaker, never 
taken unawares; he was never at a loss in debate. He had 
the best stored mind with useful knowledge of any man of 
his day. He was universally loved by the students. He re- 
signed his position as head of the faculty in 1852, and 
moved to his farm in Hopewell, that was formerly owned 
by his brother, Rev. John Williamson, and there he con- 
tinued to reside till 1856, when he removed to Arkansas. 
His eldest son. James, studied law and in 1861 went into 
the Confederate army; was promoted to the rank of Colo- 
nel, lost a leg and remained a cripple the remainder of his 
life. Our county was proud to welcome the Williamsons, 
and very sorry to lose them. 



258 HISTORY OF 

REV. R. H. LAFFERTY. 

Kev. R. H. Lafferty came to North Carolina about 1845, 
and took charge of Sugar Creek soon after Rev. J. M. M. 
Caldwell resigned. He married a daughter of Mr. Wilson 
Parks. He was a very earnest preacher, and gave very gen- 
eral satisfaction. He ministered to this congregation for 
a number of years, in fact he never moved until his death, 
about the year 1867. 

REV. JAMES WALLIS. 

j 

Rev. James Wallis was licensed about 1790, and he, too, 
married a daughter of John McKnitt Alexander, and located 
at Providence, some thirty years after the "Seven Churches" 
were built. He continued with this charge many years, until 
his work was done. He and his wife both were buried in 
Providence graveyard. Their children moved west, and en- 
tered the race of life within the new State, opening their 
doors to emigrants as the century advanced. 

A. W. MIELER. 

Dr. A. W. Miller, former pastor of the First Presbyterian 
church of this city, no writer can do full justice to him. He 
was a great preacher, no one can deny this. His preaching 
was characterized by sound doctrine, earnestness and no 
compromise. It was the writer's privilege to be a member 
of his flock, and to hear him preach for years, hence can 
judge somewhat of his power. His delivery was different 
from what we are accustomed to hear now. He used manu- 
script almost entirely, but quite effectively; occasionally he 
would preach without any manuscript, and these sermons 
were delivered with great power. Some one spoke to him 
in regard to two sermons he preached on a certain Sunday, 
< ne with manuscript, and one without, saying to him that 
he liked the sermon without the manuscript best. Dr. Mil- 




DR. A. W. MILLER. 



[the 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



TOR, LENOX AND 
TILL. JATIONS. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 259 

ler intimated by his reply that this was because of inatten- 
tion, saying - it took two weeks to prepare the sermon 1 deliv- 
ered from manuscript, and the other he had not even given 
any study, the text having come into his mind just before 
the service began. He never preached a sermon that did 
not contain food for thought ; he declared the whole law and 
spared not. I do not think I ever heard him try to modify 
the obvious meaning - of any text of Scripture. He preached 
from the texts of the Bible as they were written. 

The church of which he was the pastor is still reaping - the 
benefits of his noble work, conspicuous in its contributions 
to the support of the Gospel, and the integrity and steadfast- 
ness of manv of the older members. Notwithstanding" his 
devotion to his calling, and the arduous duties incident 
thereto, he took a lively interest in the history of his coun- 
try, particularly the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independ- 
ence. He always would preach an appropriate sermon on 
these occasions, attesting in no uncertain sound his belief in 
the genuineness of the claim. While abroad he visited 
London and searched the archives for evidence bearing upon 
this important event, and ascertained that very important 
evidence had been abstracted from the files. He continued 
his search, and found in Charleston evidence convincing him 
that the claim was true. He secured the file containing - this 
information and brought it to Charlotte and exhibited it to 
the public at the Y. M. C. A. hall in this city. 

It was he who encouraged the erection of a monument to 
the memory of Rev. Alex. Craighead, a noted Presbyterian 
minister, who was prominent in the times that tried men's 
souls. Some persons regarded this great man as stern and 
unapproachable; this was a mistaken idea. He was just 
the opposite, being easily approached, and as full of humor 
as the average man. The same could he said of him as was 
said of a learned judge : "He could leave the bench and get 
down on the floor with the children." I have seen him do 
this at my own house, and. he seemed to enjoy the sport as 
much as the children. 



260 HISTORY OF 

Every one respected him and had great confidence -in his 
piety. He had some peculiarities, as other men; had a pecu- 
liar way of putting some things. I remember of hearing 
him in a sermon on one occasion speaking of consistency 
of professed Christians. He said "that a man who had an 
orthodox heart, should have orthodox feet." He was un- 
mistakably a great and good man. His life and work may 
be summed up in the words (which were the last uttered by 
him) engraved upon a tablet erected to his memory by the 
ladies of his church : "I have fought a good fight ; I have 
finished my course; I have kept the Faith." We can truth- 
fully say of him : 

" Servant of God well done ; 

Rest from thy loved employ ; 
The battle fought, the victory won, 
Enter thy master's joy. 

" The pains of death are past, 
Labor and sorrow cease, 
And life's long warfare closed at last, 
His soul is found in peace. 

" Soldier of Christ, well done ; 
Praise be thy new employ ; 
And while eternal ages run, 
Rest in thy Saviour's joy." 

— Contributed by J. A. Elliott. 



Two Church Sessions Act as a Unit. 

Hopewell and Sugar Creek churches form a union, in 
which government of both are under the rule of a joint ses- 
sion. The spiritual welfare was the highest aim of both 
bodies. During the time of Rev. S. C. Caldwell's ministra- 
tion of Hopewell and Sugar Creek churches, beginning in 
1793, the pressure was very great, as at that time infidelity 
was felt wherever it could make itself felt. On May 15, 
1793, the sessions of Sugar Creek and Hopewell had a full 
meeting at the house of Elder Robinson, about midway be- 
tween the churches, and entered into a number of resolutions 
as laws for the government of both churches. 

"North Carolina, 
"Mecklenburg County, May 5, 1793. 

"We, the Sessions of Sugar Creek and Hopewell congre- 
gations, having two separate and distinct churches, sessions 
and other officers for the peace, convenience, and well-order- 
ing of each society, and all happily united under their pres- 
ent pastor, Samuel C. Caldwell, yet need much mutual help 
from each other in regard of our own weakness and mutual 
dependence, and also in regard to our enemies from with- 
out. 

"Therefore, in order to make our union the more perma- 
nent, and to strengthen each others' hands in the bonds of 
unity and Christian friendship, have, this 15th day of May, 
1793, met in a social manner, at the house of Mons. Rob- 
inson. Present: Robert Robinson, Sr., Hezekiah Alexander, 
Wm. Alexander, James Robinson, Isaac Alexander, Thomas 
Alexander, and Elijah Alexander,elders in Sugar Creek; 
John McKnitt Alexander, Robert Crocket, James Meek, 
James Henry, Wm. Henderson, and Ezekiel Alexander, 
elders in Hopewell, who, after discussing generally several 
topics, proceeded to choose Hezekiah Alexander chairman, 



262 HISTORY OF 

and John McKnitt Alexander clerk, and do agree to the 
following resolves and rules which we, each for himself, 
promise to observe." 

Then follow five resolutions respecting the management 
of the congregations, as it regards the support of their min- 
isters, inculcating punctuality and precision ; and also re- 
specting a division of the Presbytery* of Orange into two 
Presbyteries. 

Then follow eight permanent laws and general rules for 
each session. The first concerns the manner of bringing 
charges against a member of the church; that it shall be 
written and signed by the complainant, and that previous to 
trial all mild means shall be used to settle the matter. 

2. "As a church judicature, we will not intermeddle with 
what belongs to the civil magistrate, either as an officer of 
State, or a minister of justice among the citizens. The line 
between the Church and State being so fine, we know not 
how to draw it, therefore we leave it to Christian prudence 
and longer experience to determine." 

The other resolutions are all found in the Confession of 
Faith, in their spirit, in the rules given for the management 
of a single session, with this exception, that it was deter- 
mined that in this joint session '"a quorum to do business 
shall not be less than a moderator and three elders," and 
that in matters of discipline there shall be "no non liquet 
votes permitted." 

We can readily infer that no precedent of this nature had 
ever taken place either in this country or in Europe; but the 
obstacles to the growth of religion were so great that extra- 
ordinary rules had to be adopted to guide with discretion, a 
church recently planted, that was surrounded with the de- 
moralizing influences of war. But the people were fortunate 
indeed to have men in their double session who had most 
skillfully and successfully declared independence and made 
it good, although it was the wonder of the world. 

This union of the sessions was productive of most happy 
consequences to the two congregations, particularly during 



MECKIJENBORG COUNTY. 263 

the struggle with French infidelity, and had the effect to pre- 
serve the spirit of Presbyterianism and sound principles, 
and free religion. 

The elders were jealous of any intermingling of Church 
and State, even in the proceedings of sessions, and endeav- 
ored to keep both civil and religious freedom, entirely sepa- 
rating political and ecclesiastical proceedings as completely 
as possible. 

All the difficulty probably arose from the fact that some 
of the elders were magistrates, and they feared lest, in the 
public estimation, or their own action, the two offices might 
be blended in their exercise. This was an age that required 
a great deal of vigilance on both the part of the State and 
Church, to prevent atheism from sapping the foundation of 
the Church, and anarchy from destroying our political free- 
dom, we contended for under the form of Republicanism. 



Methodists in the County. 

At the beginning of the Nineteenth century, Methodism 
had no start in Mecklenburg county. In fact it was scarcely 
heard. of in America. John Wesley, the father of Method- 
ism, was born in 1703 and died in 1791. He was born in 
England, was not satisfied with the Episcopal Church, 
made what he thought were needed reforms in the Church 
of England, and was made sport of, the higher classes 
calling the new sect "Methodists." Their first two churches 
— one in Ferrel Town — in the extreme western part of Mal- 
lard Creek Township, called "Bethesda," now rotted down. 
The other is in Providence Township, named "Harrison" 
church. They were built about 181 5. They began with the 
poorest people, that class above all others who would feel 
the need of a Saviour. The number of adherents soon 
doubled and trebled their start; but unfortunately, educa- 
tion at that time was at a low ebb. In and about 1825 and 
1835, those in charge of the churches would allow almost 
any one to preach. In this way the church was brought into 
disrepute, and many things were permitted that if they had 
been better educated would not have wrought so much evil, 
and held back the Church in its onward march. By 1850 
their ministry was much better prepared for the work they 
were engaged in. Camp meetings were very common at 
that time. At almost every church you would see log 
cabins in rows around the arbor, or church; and at some 
places there would be two rows of tents or cabins. These 
meetings would last from one to two weeks, and I would say 
here that camp meetings were not confined solely to the 
Methodists, but Baptists, and especially Presbyterians, held 
these meetings in the early years of the century. People 
would attend these meetings in covered wagons, going from 
fifty to one hundred miles. 

The whole face, or appearance of the country has been 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 265 

changed during the last hundred years, not only physically 
and intellectually, but theologically. When Methodists 
were firmly in the saddle, we had in earnest, "The Gospel on 
horseback." It should be added that a Methodist preacher 
was never known to ride a poor horse; he would always 
look after the welfare of his horse. This travel from one 
church to another, afforded him the only time he ever got 
to prepare his sermons; but then he had the advantage of 
using the same sermon at every church in his circuit. In 
the rapid march of time, the mile posts are plainly marked 
in Mecklenburg by the advancement of Methodism. We 
have seen its advent in the back woods of Mecklenburg in 
the early years of the Nineteenth century, we have witnessed 
its phenomenal growth, and before the close of the century 
in which it started on the race, it came to the goal, neck 
and neck with those who were far in the lead at the start. 
The Methodists are far behind some others in beautiful 
houses of worship, and schools for the education of their 
boys and girls; but judging the future by the past, the 
time is rapidly hastening when they will have schools rival- 
ing Greensboro and other places. 

Dr. David R. Dunlap and his brother-in-law, Brawley 
Oates, were the first men of learning and influence in Char- 
lotte or in the county who espoused the claims set forth by 
Wesley, and followed by thousands since Dunlap and Oates 
have fallen asleep. They were not only active men in the 
Church, but took an active part in the affairs of the county. 
Their houses were known to all the ministers in this sec- 
tion of the State; they all 'had a standing invitation to make 
their houses their home when traveling from church to 
church, while on their circuit visiting their several charges. 

To show the want of thorough education in the ministry 
of the Methodist Church, an anecdote of how preaching was 
carried on at old Bethesda, in Ferrel Town, about 1845, * s 
related. There was a local Methodist preacher living near 
there by the name of Harvey Montgomery, a most worthy 
and estimable gentleman, a man of a fairly good education, 



266 HISTORY OF 

but a slow talker. On the Sunday alluded to he was in the 
pulpit with Kinchin Howell sitting by his side. Howell was 
grossly ignorant of letters, could not even read, but was 
proficient in prayer, and was particularly fond of "exhort- 
ing." When the time arrived for preaching to begin, Mr. 
Montgomery went through the preliminary services and 
gave out his text. When the congregation was surprised to 
see Mr. Howell jump up and push Mr. Montgomery to one 
side saying. Harvey, you do the reading and let me do the 
'spounding," and the service was concluded in the usual 
way, in perfect harmony, and all appeared pleased. 

Education has done more for this branch of the Church 
during the last fifty years than any other creed or form of 
belief. In the first years of the century, infidelity was in 
the front rank, and had for those who espoused its cause 
many of the brightest minds in the whole country; but as 
camp meetings became common, and revivals were held in 
many places and Christians of every name participated in 
the protracted meetings, and there was wonderful manifesta- 
tions of the divine power exhibited everywhere, the infidels 
were converted, or fled the country, taking their literature 
with them. The leading ministers will compare favorably 
with any other denomination ; and all are working harmo- 
niously together for the general good of our fellowmen, 
and the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

HARRISON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH. 

Harrison Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is located 
on the extreme southern border of Mecklenburg county, 
North Carolina, and near the South Carolina line, on the 
waters of Clemb's branch, in South Carolina, and McAlpin's 
creek, in North Carolina,' on the public road from Charlotte 
to Lancaster. It was organized in the latter part of the 
Eighteenth century, in the South Carolina Conference, 
which was organized in the year 1785. This church was 
built of hewn logs and knotched up in the old-fashioned 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 267 

way. covered with oak boards and the cracks between the 
logs filled in with clay mortar. The church was about forty 
feet long and thirty feet wide, with pulpit in one end and a 
large batten door in the other, with seats made of split slabs, 
as there were no saw mills in the country then. Harrison 
was the first Methodist church in Mecklenburg county, and 
one of the first in North Carolina; and, as church records 
were unknown in those days, little of the early history of 
the church has been preserved, but early in the Nineteenth 
century its membership consisted of only a few families. 

As they were familiarly known by all that knew them, 
old uncle James Davis Johnathan and Daniel Mills were the 
founders and supporters of the church. Uncle Johnny was 
the licensed exhorter and Uncle Daniel the class leader, and 
in the absence of the preacher they would, hold services, and 
as the circuit then embraced several counties, they only had 
preaching once a month by the pastor in charge. As the 
Presbyterian Church pre-occupied and held full possession 
of this country and Providence church 'had been organized in 
1765, and every family that was able to have horses and 
vehicles attended Providence, and only those who were too 
poor to have these conveyances attended Harrison, the old 
log meeting house, as it was then called, and the new meth- 
ods of Methodism were regarded scornfully, and the best of 
society were ashamed to be seen at Harrison. But in 1847. 
the South Carolina Conference appointed to the Charlotte 
circuit two very able preachers, Claudius H. Pritchard and 
William M. Barringer, the latter was a brother of the Hons. 
Victor, Monroe and Gen. Rufus Barringer. of North Car- 
olina. In August of that year they held a great revival of 
religion at the Harrison log meeting house. The interest 
grew and the congregations became so large that it became 
necessary to erect a stand and a brush arbor in the grove. 
Services were held day and night for several weeks and the 
Whole country for miles around was aroused on the subject 
of religion as it never had been before, scores were con- 
verted and joined the church and from the time of that meet- 



268 HISTORY OF 

ing Methodism began to grow and became more respecta- 
ble in the community and embraced many of the best and 
wealthiest families. Some of the members who joined them 
with their families were Capts. James B. Robinson, William 
Gaylor Stitt. Dr. Wm, A. Ardrey, Messrs. James H. Davis, 
Samuel A. Davis, James Monroe Davis, George D. Beck- 
ham, James R. Cunningham, Lee Patterson, Nicholas Da- 
vidson, John O. Moore, Robert Cunningham, James Patter- 
son, Dr. John S. Porter and Mrs. Mansion and many others, 
a few of whom are yet living. 

As a result of that meeting and the decayed and dilapi- 
dated condition of the old church which was then consid- 
ered unsafe to have service in, in 1848 money began to be 
raised for the purpose of building a new church. A build- 
ing committee was elected, of which Dr. Ardrey was chair- 
man, the contracts were awarded to James Davis, of Union 
county. The new church was completed, paid for and then 
was dedicated by Rev. Jacob Hill, and is still standing and 
is the present house of worship. The building of this church 
was an epoch in the history of Methodism not only in this 
community, but in the M. E. Church at large, as the General 
Conference of 1844 passed resolutions reprimanding Bishop 
Andrew for marrying into a slave holding family, and in- 
forming him that his services would not be acceptable in 
some sections of the country. Owing to that controversy, 
the Southern delegates withdrew and in 1845 the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, was formed with Bishops Soule 
and Andrew at its head. The agitation of these vexed ques- 
tions of slavery had not only disturbed the social and polit- 
ical quietude of our country, but it was threatening the life 
of all of our religious institutions, and it engulfed us into a 
civil war from i860 to 1865. For undaunted courage and 
true heroism the world. 'has never seen nor recorded its equal. 
This war forever settled the question of slavery in Church 
and State, but the Northern and Southern Churches have 
never been reunited. Harrison church, like all the other 
Southern churches, since the Avar has experienced many 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 269 

trials and changes to become adapted to the new and altered 
conditions of the country. Several churches have grown 
out from this original organization. Its first branch was 
Hebron M. E. Church, between Pineville and Charlotte. 
This church was built about the year 1850. Its founders 
were David P. Lee, Sampson Wolfe, John Campbell, and 
otbers. The next branch was the Pineville M. E. Church, 
which is located in a town of that name -on the Charlotte. 
Columbia and Augusta Railroad. This church to-day 
stands as a monument to the late Samuel Younts, his sons 
John A. and W. S. Younts, and the late Dr. J. A. Ardrey. 
This church was founded about 1870. The third branch 
was Marvin M. E. Church, in Union courtty, a nice little 
brick building erected by a few good and devoted Christian 
men, in 1875. Its founders were Lloyd K. Rone, John W. 
Squires, T. J. Ezzell and Job Crane. And the last branch 
was Pleasant Hill, in Lancaster county, South Carolina, in 
1880, founded by D. C. Wolfe, John Wolfe, John Davidson, 
James O. Bales, Lee Patterson, Solomon Harris and his 
sons. 

The old church was transferred to the North Carolina 
Conference in 1889, when the State line was made the Con- 
ference line. It still has about the usual number of mem- 
bers and now, in 1902, money is subscribed and the erec- 
tion of a new and modern church is begun. The building 
committee is W. E. Ardrey, chairman ; W. E. Cunningham, 
secretary; John N. Harris, treasurer; James A. Kerr, H. 
N. Patterson, W. F. McGinn and James P. Ardrey, and we 
hope to complete the building by the end of this year, 1902. 

In 181 5 the Sugar Creek circuit of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church was composed of the following churches : 

Harrison Meeting House, Bethel, Mt. Moriah, Rogers, 
Roses, McCorcles, Mayhews, Christenberrys, Martins, Char- 
lotte, Chalk Level, Cithcoats, Hyatira, Wallases, Newhope, 
Howells. The presiding elder was Rev. Daniel Asbury ; the 
preacher in charge was Rev. W. B. Barnett. 

This circuit was then in the South Carolina Conference. 



270 HISTORY OF 

In 1 81 8 the first Quarterly Conference was held at Harrison 
on March 14th. Rev. Jesse Richardson was presiding 
elder, and Rev. Reuben Tucker pastor. Rev. Jacob Hill was 
pastor in 1821. 

Harrison has furnished the following ministers : Rev. 
W. S. Rone, Presiding Elder in the North Carolina Con- 
ference; Rev. R. S. Howie, of the Western North Carolina 
Conference ; Rev. John Loyd Howie, of the Congregational 
Church ; Rev. W. B. Lee, missionary to Brazil ; Rev. John 
Davis, of the South Carolina Conference; Rev. John Owen, 
of the South Carolina Conference. 



Roma.n Catholic ChvircK. 

The first start of the Roman Catholic Church in Char- 
lotte was in 1836. Four years before this the Presbyterian 
Church was organized, which was the first Church organ- 
ized in the town, more than fifty years after the people of 
Mecklenburg had declared themselves free from British 
rule. It is strange that religion should have been so tardy in 
making its power felt, after so much toil and suffering to es- 
tablish our independence here in this town. 

In 1836, Rev. Father McGinnis came here as a mission- 
ary, and secured a house to live in and taught school in one 
room, had one room for a church in which he held wor- 
ship. He and his sister also lived there. The house, a frame 
building, stood on the lot now owned and occupied by Dr. 
John R. Irwin. He was said to have been a fine scholar 
and a good teacher. The family of Nolands, the Hartys, 
John Rouche and others from the surrounding country at- 
tended church here. Mr. McGinnis only stayed one or two 
years, after which service was held by missionaries, as it 
was convenient for one to come, until a churdh was built in 
1 85 1. The corner stone was laid by Rev. J. J. O'Connell, 
D. D. The church was built by Patrick Harty and Ed. 
Lonergan. Henry Severs carried the brick. The church 
was small, like the congregation, but in the last fifty years 
the membership has increased so rapidly, the old church 
has been torn away, and a handsome structure fills its place, 
keeping pace with the growing city, and the increasing con- 
gregation. The present large and handsome church was 
built in 1890. Many of the best citizens of the town now 
hold their membership there. Fifty years has made won- 
derful changes in Charlotte, and in nothing do we see it 
more than in the magnificent temples of worship that arise 
in the various wards, to point passers by to a lasting habita- 
tion in the world to come. 



15he Associate Reformed Presbyterians. 

In Mecklenburg county this body of Christians were not 
very numerous one hundred years ago. Only in certain 
sections of the county were they sufficiently numerous to 
have a house of worship. About 1795 Gilead church, and 
Steele Creek — to distinguish it from the Presbyterian 
church — it was called "Little Steele Creek." It is more 
than probable these were the two first churches by that de- 
nomination. The building of Gilead church was first in- 
tended to be at Baker's Grave Yard, about one and a half 
miles north of the church. This old burying place was used 
long before any church was built. The Rev. John Thomp- 
son, a Presbyterian minister, and his son-in-law, — . — . 
Baker, were the first persons to be buried there. Also Maj. 
John Davidson's sister, Mary, who married a Mr. Price, 
and many of her descendants. The church (Gilead) was 
built fifteen miles from Charlotte, on the Beattie's Ford 
Road, on the spot once occupied by a fort, to protect the 
early settlers' cattle and horses from roving bands of In- 
dians. Miss Nilley Torrance, who died more than fifty 
years ago, said that she had often seen the fort when hunt- 
ing her father's cattle and horses. She lived with her sister 
Jane, who married Andrew Barry, a son of the patriot, 
Richard Barry. Their offspring still occupy the old home- 
stead ; but how much of interest, especially of the people 
who once lived in this section, has passed away unhonored 
and unsung, not even noted down that it might be made 
known to the children, in the shape of legends or fairy tales, 
to preserve the local civilization of the Eighteenth century. 

Rev. James McKnight was probably the most noted man, 
and the hardest worked preacher of the Associated Re- 
formed Presbyterian Church. Rev. John Boyce was the 
first pastor of Gilead. He was in charge of Coddle Creek, 
Prosperity, Gilead and Hopewell, in South Carolina. He 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 273 

could not have given more than one-fourth of his time to 
either one of his several charges. He could not have con- 
tinued here more than five years, as he died March 18, 1793, 
and was buried at Hopewell, in South Carolina. The sec- 
ond pastor of Gilead was Rev. James McKnight. He had 
charge of Gilead, Coddle Creek, and Prosperity ; installed in 
1797. He continued to serve these churches for many years 
and ended his course September 17, 1831. He was a most 
remarkable preacher. Two sermons a day was his ordinary 
rule. Beginning by 10 o'clock, and giving a short interval 
for refreshments, he would preach some times until it was 
so dark he would call for candles to read and sing the last 
Psalm. The stars would be shining brightly before the peo- 
ple would reach home, if they had but two or three miles 
to go. It was common for them to provide themselves with 
pine torches to light them home. 

Rev. John Hunter, a man of great ability, immensely pop- 
ular with the people, and was always heard gladly by the 
common people. He had a peculiar intonation of voice that 
always held the attention of his audience. He was installed 
at Gilead in 1844 f° r half his time, and at Prosperity. After 
several years he was transferred to Sardis, and remained 
there till he had run his course. At Gilead he was a welcome 
visitor, and loved by all his people. 

Rev. Alexander Ranson, D. D., was one of the ablest men 
in the ministry of any church. He was pastor of Gilead 
and Prosperity for eighteen or twenty years. His neighbors 
and those who knew him best, thought he was one of the 
best men living in the world. Rev. R. T. Taylor served 
Prosperity and Gilead after Mr. Hunter, for about ten 
years; and he was followed by Dr. Ranson, who served 
the churches with great acceptability. The two churches 
paid him a very small pittance. His wife was exceed- 
ingly delicate, but when able, would teach school. Dr. 
Ranson had many warm friends who contributed much to 
render the last years of his life bright and pleasant, although 
his bodily pain was very great. A son and daughter soon 



274 HISTORY OF 

followed him to the spirit world. The instruction given 
by such a man, we will expect to hear from as it flows 
on down the stream of time. Much of the good being done 
all through the upper end of Mecklenburg is due to the 
godly life of Dr. Alexander Ranson. 

Rev. J. T. Chalmers, who died several years ago, preached 
at Little Steele Creek and accomplished a great deal of good. 
In a previous place an account of that part of the county is 
given, and will not be rehearsed here. 

His son. Rev. Dr. J. C. Chalmers, was a man of feeble 
physical frame, but of a giant intellect. He began preaching 
in South Carolina, but in after years became pastor of the 
First Church in Charlotte. He continued pastor of the First 
Church until 1900, when his health became too feeble, when 
he went to Mexico hoping to regain his health. But his 
work appeared to be done. He arrived home about 1902, 
and gradually sank to rest in the spring of the same year. 

Rev. J. G. McLaughlin is probably the oldest minister in 
the State — active minister. He is 83. He has been relieved 
of the burden of Back Creek church, and only preaches when 
he feels able. He has been pastor of the Church for many 
years, and will remain with the people while life lasts. A 
few years ago he was sorely tried in the furnace of affliction. 
He lost his wife and three grown children in one season with 
fever. It looked as if he was to be tried as Job; but he had 
many friends that proved to be friends in deed. He is still 
cheerful as the years go by, knowing that he has to wait but 
a little while longer. All the churches of this denomination 
are in a prosperous condition. For the last hundred years 
they have been very cautious to have all their ministry edu- 
cated men. That being an absolute necessity to preserve the 
honorable standing of the Church, not only in Mecklen- 
burg, but throughout the country. And it will not be amiss 
to say their ministry of to-day are in the van with the lead- 
ers of any other denomination. 

As many things in this county are dated before or after 
the war, we will say this denomination had 1 no foothold in 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 275 

Charlotte in ante-bellum times. Probably Maj. Jennings 
B. Kerr's family was the only "seceders" in the town. 

Where the Queen City Hotel now stands was the first 
church they ever had. It would seat probably 200 people, 
ten years ago. Now they have two most elegant churches, 
with two of the best preachers in the city. They are now 
reaching out, lengthening their cords and strengthening 
their stakes. 

In the last half of the Nineteenth century there has been 
a wonderful growth in all denominations. This was to be 
expected, as the population came from various quarters, and 
brought the seeds of their religion with them, as there are 
few people but who are more or less biased in their religious 
views. 



15he Lutheran Church. 

There was no Lutheran Church or minister in Mecklen- 
burg county prior to 1850. There was but few, if any, Ger- 
man emigrants that ever stopped in this county. Nearly 
all stopped in Rowan, Cabarrus and Catawba counties. 
These counties were largely settled with Dutch, conse- 
quently they have a large following of Lutherans. In 1885 
a large and elegant Lutheran church (St. Mark's) was com- 
pleted. For several years it was served by Rev. W. S. Bow- 
man, D. D., who came from Charleston, S. C. He was a 
very learned man, of great piety, and was much esteemed 
by all the good people of the city, without regard to race or 
denomination. His health became too feeble to perform 
the duties of pastor, tendered his resignation and in a short 
time was gathered to his fathers at a ripe old age. 

In the year 1898 the services of Rev. R. C. Holland, 
D. D., was secured. He gives very general satisfaction to 
his people, and is popular with the combined ministry of the 
city. 



&/>e Baptist Denomination. 

The Baptist denomination was almost wholly unknown 
in the county fifty years ago. They started with only two or 
three families in the town, and scarcely a half dozen in the 
county. They have grown to occupy at least the third or 
fourth place in point of numbers in the city. Their leading 
ministers are the peers of any in the county. The Rev. A. 
L. Stough, D. D., of Pineville, was chaplain of the Thirty- 
seventh Regiment, N. C. T., in the late Civil War. He did 
not hesitate to do his duty, whether in hospital or field, with- 
out favor or affection. He is now becoming an old man, 
has labored many years in the Master's vineyard, and is still 
hale and hearty, and looks as if he would be able for much 
service for several years to come. 

I am aware that it is not considered good taste to criticise 
the living, but as the name of the author is always obtaina- 
ble, I hope no one will deny me the pleasure of bearing tes- 
timony to the patriotism of those who sacrificed the pleas- 
ures of home for the hardships and privations of a soldier's 
life in the tented field. Chaplain Stough deserved well of 
his brother Christians. He labored in camp, denouncing 
wickedness in high places, without the fear of officers before 
his eyes. I have seen him passing among the wounded at 
the field hospital, carrying two canteens, one containing 
water and the other whiskey, administering to the urgent 
calls of the wounded and dying Confederate soldiers. At all 
hours of the day and night could this be seen. 

Rev. A. L. Stough deserves a monument to preserve his 
devotion to the welfare of the Confederate soldier. His 
good name will ever remain green with all classes of Chris- 
tians, with whom he has come in contact. 

In another place Dr. Pritchafd has been spoken of as the 
boys' friend. He was the mainstay of the Baptist Church 
for many years; but he served his day. and has gone up 



278 HISTORY OF 

higher, as the student passes from the Academy to the Uni- 
versity. The Baptist churches of the city are ably served 
by men entirely devoted to the cause of Christ. The in- 
crease of the numbers of membership has been phenomenal, 
and requires a continual lengthening of cords and strength- 
ening of stakes to provide room to accommodate all who 
come. We are pleased to note the fact that all denomina- 
tions are getting closer together than they have ever been 
before. Is it not a sign of the coming of the millenium? 



Rock Springs Burying Ground. 

Rock Springs burying ground is in the eastern part of the 
county. There is no data by which any one can tell when 
the first grave was dug in this quiet and secluded spot. 
From what we know of the early history of the county, 
Rocky River and Sugar Creek were the first churches estab- 
lished in the county ; but we have undoubted evidence that 
there were places of burying the dead several years before 
any church was built. And it may be so here. At any rate, 
there is no church nearer than Philadelphia, and it is at least 
one and a half miles distant. Whether the people thought 
a church would be built in the distant future, we have no 
way of telling. But in those early days the people thought 
it no hardship to ride ten to twenty miles to attend church, 
and to enquire after the welfare of their friends and kin- 
dred. Here we find a city of almost forgotten dead. A 
few tombstones are standing of as beautiful marble as we 
now see in well-kept cemeteries. Others are of very dark 
stone, but well polished. Some are soap-stone, and some 
look as if they had been plank, and handsomely dressed; 
while some graves look as if an ordinary stone had been 
placed at either end. But very few have been buried in the 
last seventy-five years. The graveyard is on the northwest 
side of the road leading from Mint Hill to the Stanly cor- 
ner, Marven, Albemarle, etc. It has been enclosed with a 
rock wall. It is now nearly flat, can be walked over any- 
where. There was one acre of ground enclosed, and looks 
as if it was all used up. There was a ditch four or six feet 
wide, and probably as deep, around the four sides; the wall 
was inside the ditch. There are but few large trees among 
the tombs, but full of small growth. 

Some of the names and dates we found are given : 

Maj. James Harris, born Dec. 25, 1772, died Sept. 7, 



280 HISTORY OF 

1811 ; Samuel L. Harris, born 1767, died 1798; Mary Har- 
ris, born July 14, 1749, aged 7$. 

Catherine Maxwell, born 1774, died 1825. 

Elizabeth Wilson, born in the year 1800, died in 1832. 

Adam Alexander (one of the signers of the Declaration), 
died Nov. 13, 1798, aged 70 years and 7 months; Mary, his 
wife, died Nov. 26, 181 3, aged 78 years, 3 months. 

Robert Oueery, died Aug. 25, 1827, aged 64 years. 

Samuel Harris, died 1825, aged 83; Margaret Harris, 
died 1782, aged 58; Jane Harris, died 1797, aged 42. (One 
wide tombstone.) 

Wm. Morris, died 1804, aged 59. 

Elizabeth Morris, born 1750, died 1821. 

Hannah Moore, died 1821, aged 58. 

Elizabeth Moore, died 181 1, aged 18. 

Elizabeth Rabb, died 1792, aged 40. 

Andrew Rodgers, died 1792, aged 25. 

Elizabeth Wilson, died 1802. 

No person now living can tell us of the hundreds who 
sleep in this almost forgotten spot. Was there no historian 
near this silent city to hand down to the future, that gener- 
ations yet unborn may know what manner of people pre- 
ceded them, or are we to lose the labors of all those who 
preceded us on account of not keeping record? We are 
truly a people who make history, but we have been too negli- 
gent about preserving it. Others come in and rob us of a 
well-earned fame in many things we have been remiss in not 
asserting our rights. 



S\iga.r Creek Church. 

Near the gate of Sugar Creek's second graveyard, south 
of the road, is to be seen the stone that marks the grave of 
Rev. Samuel C. Caldwell, a grand-son. of Alexander Craig- 
head, whose ashes rest in the first cemetery, who died sixty 
years before Mr. Caldwell finished his course. 

The spot which he selected, and where they made his 
grave, was just beneath that part of the old log house where 
the communion table was spread (in that day had long 
tables that extended clear across the church, with suitable 
benches, so that communicants could sit around the table to 
partake of the feast ; when one table was served they would 
give way to others, until all were served), from which he 
had so often dispensed the emblems of Christ crucified; 
where he took the vows of ordination, and where he knelt, 
when by prayers and laying on of the hands of the Presby- 
tery, he was set apart to the work of the ministry. Though 
the war for liberty and independence had ended in glorious 
triumph several years before the beginning of Mr. Cald- 
well's ministry, yet it was followed by another conflict, in- 
volving far more sacred principles and interests than those 
which had been so heroically defended. Following that 
seven years' war came in like a flood, the rise and rapid 
spread, over many parts of the country, and particularly 
over Mecklenburg county, the proud waters of French in- 
fidelity; threatening the liberty of those whom the truths of 
the Gospel make free. Caldwell and Wallis, of Providence, 
were found in the thickest of the fight with this foe, in their 
respective congregations. Reared in times which tried 
men's souls and developed some of the grandest characters, 
both these men proved themselves worthy sons of their 
noble ancestors, and worthy defenders of the precious truths 
of the Gospel. An infidel club had been organized for the 
purpose of propagating their philosophy, which called in 



282 HISTORY OF 

question everything connected with the Bible and its claims 
upon the human reason and conscience. The burning ques- 
tion discussed on all occasions was, whether the Bible or 
reason should be the guide of human conscience. This dis- 
cussion was often hot and gave rise to bitter contests. 

The society above mentioned gathered its members from 
Sugar Creek, Providence and Steele Creek, and met at a 
point somewhere between those three settlements. They had 
a library well supplied with works written in defense of 
infidel views of religion and morality. This society em- 
braced men of wealth and talent. 

Wallis, then pastor of Providence and Steele Creek, and 
Caldwell, of Sugar Creek, met these enemies of the Chris- 
tian religion with fearless and unflinching fidelity. Wallis 
prepared a pamphlet of marked ability, and well adapted to 
meet the demands of truth and righteousness, which was 
widely circulated. 

So while Sugar Creek was found in the front ranks of 
those who rose up to defend human rights and liberty, 
through her Caldwell, and Wallis, born and reared in her 
bounds, she was found equally faithful and efficient in de- 
fending the liberty of the sons of God. The forces of in- 
fidelity seems to have met their final and almost complete 
overthrow in the great revival of 1802. An incident con- 
nected with that infidel club was related to me by an old 
uncle, who removed away from Providence to Tennessee 
about 1803, and who was then a full grown man. and a sub- 
ject of the saving work of the revival. 

One of the members of the club of infidels was taken 
seriously ill, and it soon became evident that his end was 
near. His infidel friends were about his bed, and much 
concerned lest the man should abandon his infidelity in the 
hour of death. They encouraged him to hold to his philos- 
ophy, repeating the exhortation, "Stick to it." But the 
foundation of sand was giving way before the poor soul, 
and at last he replied : "It is hard to stick when there is 
nothing to stick to." And now, where that soul-destroying 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 283 

form of error attempted to overthrow the religion of the 
Christ, are found temples of truth, where the riches of Jesus 
are proclaimed every Sabbath, but scarcely a vestige re- 
mains of the influence of the infidel club. Now and then we 
may hear of one of their old books which have survived, 
hidden away under the dust of years, a forgotten, worthless, 
worm-eaten thing. 

Though it has been the privilege of the writer to spend 
nearly all his life in Mecklenburg county, and work for the 
Master in many of its many churches, he has never, except 
in one instance, found any attempt to circulate the writings 
of infidels, whose works were found in that old library. The 
method by which it was sent abroad was as unusual as it 
was effective. And though it. may at first be surprising 
when stated, that it was an elder in the Presbyterian Church 
who was found scattering those infidel teachings, yet the 
opinion is ventured that the orthodox of all Mecklenburg 
orthodoxy will approve his work. The good brother caught 
at this business, had by some means got possession of one 
of those pernicious books, and being one of the most marked 
shots in the county, he conceived the idea of pasting a num- 
ber of the leaves together sufficient to make the thickness 
required. He would then take his wad-cutter and, driving it 
down through the book, supply himself for a day's tramp 
after birds. And by night there was much scattering of 
infidel sentiments and feathers. 

The building which occupied a part of the graveyard, in 
which Caldwell was buried, was the second house built by 
the congregation. It was a plain, substantial log house. In 
order to secure room for the large numbers who came to 
worship there, the house was made of two lengths of logs, 
joined together at the middle by a crib of short logs, so put 
together as to form a recess on the inside and a jutting out 
of several feet from the main side wall. In this house the 
congregation convened until some time towards the latter 
part of his ministry, when the third house was erected, a 



284 HISTORY OF 

brick structure, a little north of the second house, and on 
the same side of the road. 

ABRAHAM ALEXANDER. 

Towards the middle of the yard, near two large trees, is 
the grave of Abraham Alexander, the chairman of the 
famous Mecklenburg Convention of 1775. On his unpre- 
tending tombstone is found the inscription: "Abraham 
Alexander, died April 23, 1786, aged 68 years. 'Let me 
die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like 
His.' " He was a marked character and influence, both in 
Church and State, as manifested by the prominent posi- 
tions in which he was placed by his fellow men. He was 
a prominent magistrate, an officer which meant more in that 
day than in the present time. He lived long enough after 
the Declaration of Independence, in Charlotte, to see its 
lofty principles triumphantly maintained, and its solemn 
determinations executed. His son, Joab, took his place as 
an elder of the church and magistrate of the county. He 
has but one great-grandson in this county, Mr. J. P. Alex- 
ander, now an elder in the Second Presbyterian Church, of 
Charlotte. 

WILLIAM ALEXANDER. 

Another man of that day, William Alexander, is worthy 
of mention as a man of courage, who could be trusted as a 
leader of men. He was known by the name of "Black 
Billy," given to distinguish him from many other Alexan- 
ders in the same and surrounding neighborhoods. The Reg- 
ulators, an organization of citizens, formed, under the prov- 
ocations and impositions of the governor, were giving him 
trouble. The Governor had ordered out the militia of the 
western counties to join the command of Gen. Waddell. He 
was ordered to wait at Salisbury for the military to gather, 
and was delaying his march to join the Governor until a 
supply of ammunition should reach him. The wagons 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 285 

which were bringing powder had reached a point near where 
Concord now stands, on their way from Charlotte, and en- 
camped for the night. A plan was at once formed for the 
destruction of the powder. Nine men of Rocky River (the 
descendants of some of those men are now living in that 
congregation) and William Alexander, of Sugar Creek, as 
their leader, bound themselves by an oath to stand together 
in the undertaking and to keep each other's part in it a secret, 
blacked their faces and disguised themselves as Indians and 
about daybreak captured the convoy. The band permitted 
the drivers and their teams and the guard to go unharmed, 
and then made a pile of the powder on the ground, laid a 
train for some distance and set fire to it. 



Steele Creek Church. 

This is one of the remarkable seven churches that were 
organized in Mecklenburg county, or rather the place was 
agreed upon, and worship conducted by the early settlers for 
a number of years before a temple was built and dedicated to 
the worship of God. In this early period when the people 
were few and lived far apart, the roads frequently impassi- 
ble in the winter season, all their undertakings were neces- 
sarily slow of progress. But they acted wisely in securing 
eligible locations for the different churches. Sugar Creek, 
near the centre; Rocky River, in the east; Poplar Tent 
towards the north ; Centre, northwest ; Hopewell, ten miles 
north of the centre; Providence, to the south; Steele Creek 
to the w r est. This last was like her sisters, had a surround- 
ing population of the best people in the world. Originally 
the lands around Steele Creek were fertile and valuable. 
Away from the water courses the lands were covered with 
tall grass and the wild pea vine; was indeed a prairie, beau- 
tiful in its loveliness, undisturbed save only by the foot of 
the Red men. the deer and the buffalo, and the smaller ani- 
mals and variety of birds, which gave the appearance of 
Eden's beauteous bowers as described by Milton. The in- 
habitants were characterized for their industry, patriotism, 
morality and love of fair play ; they were also noted for their 
love and reverence for truth and religion. Rev. Hugh Mc- 
Aden, Rev. Elihu Spencer, and Rev. Robert McMordie at 
different times visited this church as missionaries, as occa- 
sion would permit. This was the only kind of ministerial 
service any of the churches had for several years. 

As a place of worship, we can readily see the people were 
accustomed to assemble at this point, near where the church 
now stands, but a house of worship was not erected till the 
year 1762. 

In the. year 1706 was organized the rirst Presbyterv in 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 287 

America, consisting of seven ministers and their churches, 
and this continued the only advisory and governing body till 
1 71 7. The Church by this time had so increased it was 
considered best to sub-divide it into three other Presbyteries, 
which were to constitute a Synod, which should meet once a 
year. For several years after Steele Creek Church was or- 
ganized, it had to be watched over and guarded by missiona- 
ries and supplies wherever they could be obtained. It will 
be remembered that when Rev. Alexander Craighead ended 
his successful labors in March, 1766, he was the solitary 
minister between the Yadkin and the Catawba. From this 
time there was no settled minister, for some years, south 
of the Yadkin. 

Steele Creek's first pastor was Rev. Robert Henry, from 
Donegal Presbytery. He lived but a few months and he 
was removed by death. The first bench of ruling elders we 
have any account of, in 1767, were William Barnett, Walter 
Davis, Robert Irwin, Hugh Parks, David Freeman. Joseph 
Swann, Zaccheus Wilson, and Andrew McNeely. For ten 
years their appears to be a lapse of service, at any rate of 
ministerial sendee. But little service of a regular char- 
acter was enjoyed until after the war of independence. 
There is no portion of the State whose early record presents 
a more glowing page of patriotism and valor than Mecklen- 
burg, of which Steele Creek is a component part. It is not 
boasting too much to say it is in Mecklenburg we find the 
birthplace of American liberty. On the 20th of May, 1775, 
two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Col. 
Robert Irwin and Zaccheus Wilson, were elders in Steele 
Creek Church. Of the twenty-seven members who com- 
posed that convention, nine were known to have been elders, 
and one a minister of the Gospel, Rev. Hezekiah J. Balch. 
Col. Irwin was a busy man in all the conventions held dur- 
ing the war, and from 1778 to 1800, he served as a member 
of the Legislature from Mecklenburg county. 

Debating societies, formed for political purposes, were 
common in those days. One of these societies was 



288 HISTORY OF 

formed as near as possible in a central position between 
Sugar Creek, Steele Creek and Providence. It proved to be 
more for the interest of infidelity than for politics. The 
battle between the crown and the people had been fought, 
and the people were victorious. During this long night of 
darkness the enemy had come in and sown the tares. In- 
fidelity with a brazen front, was defiant, and threatened like 
an avalanche to overrun the whole country; to extinguish 
the best hopes of man — yes, threatened the annihilation of 
the Church, and the ruin of her Lord's authority. The ques- 
tion was debated, "What should govern conscience, philoso- 
phy, or the Bible?" At this time the authority of the Bible 
underwent a sifting discussion, such as Carolina had never 
seen, and may never see again. About this time a most 
wonderful revival spread all over the country. At this time 
all bad and uncharitable feeling subsided, and Methodists, 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Baptists all worshipped to- 
gether. These were wonderful meetings. The Holy Spirit 
did not respect the denominational names by which they 
were called. 

In 1795, Concord Presbytery was set off from Orange, 
and this county remained in Concord for seventy-five years, 
but is now in Mecklenburg Presbytery. In 1778 Rev. James 
McRee was elected pastor, and gave general satisfaction. 
During his term as pastor, * the church building was en- 
larged, as the congregation had increased in numbers, and 
at that day was considered very elegant. Mr. McRee did 
much to introduce Watt's Hymns and Psalms instead of 
Rouse's version. All who held to only Rouse's version of 
the Psalms were called "seceders." 

Rev. Mr. McRee was born in Iredell county, N. C, in 
1752, near where Centre church was afterwards built. At 
this period all this territory belonged to Anson county. He 
preached at Steele Creek about twenty years. He said: 
"Often I have ridden in the morning to Bethel (in S. C), 
Providence, Sugar Creek, and Hopewell and preached (two 
sermons), and returned home in the evening of the same 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 289 

day." He preached at Centre for many years, and wound 
up his course at his son's-in-law, Col. Davidson, in Bun- 
combe county, in the 88th year of his age. He deserved 
well of his country. 

In i7/2-'74 Rev. William Blackstock came from Ireland 
and was ordained by the Associate Reformed Presbytery 
of the Carolinas, and in 1794 he organized a church called 
"Lower Steele Creek," eight miles below the first Steele 
Creek church. The following persons were elected elders, 
viz. : James Grier, James Harris, James Fox, William Fer- 
guson and Alexander Scott. Mr. Blackstock was elected 
pastor, and served a few years. Messrs. Dixon and McMil- 
lan were the first Associate ministers who came to this 
county. Mr. McMillan was soon dismissed for indulging too 
freely in the intoxicating bowl. Afterwards came Revs. 
Moore, Crie, White and Pringle. They each preached at 
Lower Steele Creek, and neighboring churches. The early 
ministers had a vast amount of work to do, and received 
but little sympathy, or remuneration of any other kind, ex- 
cept a self-consciousness of having done their duty; but 
they have accomplished wonders for the Church. 

It must not be concluded that all the people of the county, 
or of Steele Creek were Christians — that none were repro- 
bates; for this would lead people to believe that the former 
times were better than at a later day. Human nature is the 
same now as it was in the days of the American revolution. 
Infidelity was ten fold more rampant a century ago in Meck- 
lenburg, than it is to-day ; it is unpopular now, and the lead- 
ers of thought as, of fashion, do not consider it politic to 
advocate that which would bring reproach upon society. 
This part of Mecklenburg — about 1832 — became so infected 
with intemperance, infidelity and universalism, that a large 
part of Steele Creek and the adjoining country ceased to at- 
tend church. And soon followed a fearful deluge of sick- 
ness, and many deaths, frequently requiring three and four 
funerals in a day. This spread a dark pall over the people, 
and made them think, "Were they being punished for their 



_>90 HISTORY OP 

unbelief?" This falling- away of so many from the ordi- 
nances of the church, and the moving - away of so many on 
account of sickness, was a sore and heavy trial for the 
Church. The sickness or bad state of health kept up with 
more or less severity for several years. The pastor, Rev. Mr. 
Watson, seemed to suffer the same as his people, and his 
health became so enfeebled that he resigned in 1840. Not- 
withstanding this heavy scourge, Steele Creek has been 
greatly blessed, including Lower Steele Creek and Pleasant 
Hill. They increased in population, were patriotic, believed 
in education, and were a church loving people. Steele Creek 
was organized as a place of worship one hundred and forty 
years ago ; and as compared with other sections, she has a 
right to be proud of her people. In her first settlement and 
patriotic impulses to move forward in establishing inde- 
pendence; and to prove a good citizenship by promptly 
sending forward her contingent of brave men to repel the 
enemy in 1812 to 1814, when the New England States not 
only refused troops, but threatened to secede from the 
union if the war was not immediately stopped. Again, in 
1846. aided in furnishing her quota of men to fill up the cav- 
alry company commanded by Capts. E. C. Davidson and J. 
K. Harrison, for service in Mexico. Our people are em- 
phatically a peace loving people, but by no means will they 
suffer wrong with impunity, as was abundantly shown in 
the war between the States. 

Many bright names could be mentioned as having taken 
:a noble part in the early history of Mecklenburg, either in 
aiding to achieve independence, or in maintaining a republi- 
can form of government. The people well understood the 
necessity of having the ruling class well qualified by edu- 
cation, and equally as necessary that the common people 
should enjoy the blessing of education. 



Providence Church. 

In looking over the list of early settlers of that portion of 
the State that was laid off as Mecklenburg county, in that 
portion bordering on South Carolina, and afterwards called 
Providence, I find that Henry Downs moved from Pennsyl- 
vania to this section about the year 1760. He was elected 
Captain of Militia for Providence District, or "beat." He 
was also made an elder in Providence church, which church 
was built and organized in 1762. He was also appointed a 
civil officer, or a Justice of the Peace. He was one of the 
signers of the Declaration of Independence on the 20th of 
May, 1775, in Charlotte. Mr. Downs was now getting too 
old for military service; but his son Thomas was young and 
active, and entered the service with alacrity. He was with 
Gen. Gates in South Carolina in the battle of Camden, then 
as bushwhackers hanging on the flanks of Cornwall is' army, 
as he came towards Charlotte; and assisted in giving the 
British a warm reception around the old log court house that 
stood in the public square, and on the Salisbury road for five 
miles. Tarlton must have suffered severely to get and to 
hold what he captured around Charlotte, or he would not 
have called the place "A Hornet's Nest." The Downs fam- 
ily still own and occupy two hundred acres of the original 
grant that was issued by George the IV. Many of these old 
places are handed down from sire to son for several genera- 
tions. 

George McKee emigrated to this section with the first set- 
tlers of the county. He was a pillar of both Church and 
State in those early years, being an elder in Providence, and 
also a Justice of the Peace. When the republic was young, 
many civil cases as well as criminal, were adjudicated by a 
Justice of the Peace. 

Rev. James Wallace was the first pastor of Providence 
church. For a number of years after the first church was 



292 HISTORY OF 

built, it was occupied by transient preachers, or by temporary 
supplies, especially in the country one hundred to two hun- 
dred miles from the sea coast. The law of custom had de- 
cided that the destruction of manuscripts that had been left 
by religiously disposed persons was a part of preparation for 
denth, as solemn and indispensable as the making the last 
will and testament. So very little of the records of thoughts 
of these men have been preserved from destruction. And 
the unfortunate burning of some houses, leaves the present 
generation in wondering ignorance of the trials, and energy, 
and principles of those brave and good men. The grave of 
but one minister can only be found in Providence burying- 
ground for the first century of the church's existence. When 
you enter this "old city of the dead," you see the names of 
some of the leading men who planted the Gospel and civil 
liberty in the wilderness of the Western world. Among the 
chiseled names of Stitt, Potts, McKec, Rea, Patterson, Mc- 
Cullock, and Matthews, the oldest of which bears date of 
1764. The Rev. James Wallace, who served the church 
from 1792 to 1 81 9. A lengthy pastorate for that period. 
Settlements in this part of the county were nlade about the 
same time as those in Hopewell, Sugar Creek and Rocky 
River, and were the same kind of people. Mr. Wallace mar- 
ried a daughter of John McKnitt Alexander, who labored 
with him in the ministry, and proved a help indeed. Both 
were buried by the side of those they labored with for more 
than a quarter of a century in much love and harmony. 

In this section the good people were in the habit of assem- 
bling in a grove, near where the present church now stands, 
for several years to hold divine worship. After a while they 
built a log "meeting house" where stated worship was held, 
and in 1765 the church was organized and has continued 
ever since to be the central point in all this section of the 
county. The leading spirits of these early days were An- 
drew Rea, Archibald Crocket, Joshua Ramsay, and Aaron 
Howie. Such men as these encountered and bushwhacked 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 293 

Corn wal lis' army as he marched through Providence, caus- 
ing severe hardships to the people. 

The annoyance of the people — the non-combatants — were 
put to, the malicious destruction of property, private con- 
cerns, taking away the comforts and often the necessities of 
life, was very trying to the patriotism and patience of all 
who loved the cause of liberty. But I am glad to say that 
but few "took protection" in all the bounds of Mecklenburg. 
In 1802 a great religious revival swept over this country 
as a storm, in which Mr. Wallis took an active part. This 
revival lasted for several years, and it is hoped forever 
downed the miserable infidelity that had its origin in the 
French revolution during the last decade of the Eighteenth 
century. The following agreement between the churches 
of Clear Creek (now called Philadelphia), has been pre- 
served by Mr. William Queary. 

"Whereas, The representatives of both congregations 
doth unanimously agree among themselves, in the name of 
both the aforesaid congregations, to stand and abide by each 
other from time to time through all difficulties, in order to 
obtain the labors of a gospel minister, that is to say, the one- 
half of his labors to one congregation, and the other to the 
other. And for a true and sincere union for the truth of 
the aforesaid articles, the representation of both congrega- 
tions hath hereunto subscribed their names, January 27, 
1770. 

"New Providence: John Ramsay, James Linn, John 
Hagens, James Houston, Andrew Reah, James Draffen, 
James Johnston, James Teate, Thomas Black, Robert Stew- 
art. 

"Clear Creek : Adam Alexander, Matthew Stewart, John 
Queary, Michael Leggett, John Ford." 

Five years later two of the men who signed this agreement 
signed the Declaration of Independence in Charlotte. May 
20, 1775, Adam Alexander and John Queary, which shows 
that they were public-spirited men, patriotic and determined 
in whatever business they engaged. 



294 HISTORY OF 

John Stitt died about sixty years ago, and was an elder 
and influential man, and was a leading citizen in the neigh- 
borhood. We mention. a few of the most prominent, as it 
would take too much room to mention all the good and true 
men that are worthy of being placed high up in the niche of 
fame. A few others have a right to be noticed ere we close 
this chapter. Col. Solomon Reid was an" important man, 
that both Church and State thought well of and the four 
from this muster beat who had the moral courage to sign 
the immortal Declaration of Independence, with their com- 
peers. Henry Downs, Neil Morrison, Robert Harris, and 
John Queary. 

Richard Peoples, elder in Sardis church, but a citizen of 
Providence, was a merchant and postmaster of Hemphill's 
Store. He was a large slave holder and a successful farmer. 
His son Richard now owns his father's farm. He was a 
true Confederate, and served throughout the war in Brem's 
Battery, afterwards Graham's, and then Williams'. 



Flowers Now and One Hundred Yea.rs Ago. 

Times and customs have ever been subject to change, but 
never until the last thirty years did fashion levy upon flow- 
ers — the prototype of immortality — to adorn the hymeneal 
altar, or grace the sacred desk, or strew above the bier of 
lcved ones, or scatter immortelles over the graves of patriots. 
It is well that the Nineteenth century — the last third of the 
century — inaugurated this beautiful custom that typifies the 
immortality that awaits us in the life beyond the grave. 

Fifty years or less have elapsed since any one save a bot- 
anist, knew anything of flowers, what they represented, or 
what their language was. It was a rare thing that any kind 
was met with save the wild flower that was indigenous to 
our fields and woods; the time had not come to cultivate 
them for their beauty and their fragrance. The Nineteenth 
century was two-thirds gone before a bouquet of roses did 
r onor to the sacred desk while the minister proclaimed the 
beautiful parables as exemplified by the Saviour in his ser- 
miors. Two-thirds of the century was gone before the 
church or the private parlor was decorated with rich and rare 
flowers where the blushing bride was made an help meet for 
the man of her choice. And last but not least, they are the 
sweet emblems of the morning of the resurrection, when 
those who are considered worthy to join the grand caravan, 
rise to meet the Lord in the air. 

In 1894, when Senator Vance returned from Florida and 
there was a large political meeting being held in the Audi- 
torium between Tryon and Church, on Sixth street, the en- 
tire audience commenced shouting for Gov. Vance — men 
and women standing up, waving flags and hats and handker- 
chiefs, and throwing flowers and wreaths and boquets 
around him till he was nearly covered. The crowd cheered 
and called for him until he was helped upon the stage, and 
he was so choked with emotion that he could not speak for 



296 HISTORY OF 

several minutes. At last he said : "My friends, I am glad 
to see you ; my physicians have forbidden me to speak, so 
you must excuse me." Almost a wagon load of flowers were 
thrown around him. Here the flowers spoke a silent lan- 
guage more powerful than words. They foreshadowed his 
approaching dissolution of body and spirit, and the eternal 
joys of the Easter awakening that will bloom till cycles 
cease to run. It was a happy thought to lift the exquisite 
floral offering from its long sleep of inactivity, to its place 
of honor and fragrance. Flowers add much to the pleasures 
of country life, where books and papers are not so easily 
procured. Nothing we can contribute to the sick is so 
cheery as a handsome bouquet, freshly plucked from one's 
own garden of well-attended roses and flowers. 



15he Old Four-Horse Sta.ge. 

It is now impossible to say when the line of stages was 
first put on the road communicating between the North and 
South by the way of Charlotte. It was in the first years of 
the Nineteenth century, or it may be at an earlier period, but 
as far back as 1830, the stage coach was looked for with a 
great deal of solicitude, particularly for the mail. It car- 
ried but few passengers, as the ordinary charge was ten cents 
a mile, and it would be much cheaper to go on horseback. 
Letter postage was 25 cents, and Newspapers also cost high; 
but at that time but few papers were taken, and letters were 
only written when under the greatest stress of circum- 
stances. A person going on a long journey to another State 
several hundred miles, would frequently have a quantity of 
letters to carry for his friends, and for those who were kind 
enough to entertain him at night as he passed along. The 
stage had the contract for carrying the mails, and gave the 
best attention, or served the government first; that is, would 
deliver the mail first, and then the passengers. Seventy years 
ago the stage delivered the mail here every other day. and 
that was the only mail expected. A weekly mail was car- 
ried horse-back to Statesville, which was considered quite 
an honor to be waited on so frequently. 

In the olden time when the stage coach was the most ex- 
peditious mode of traveling, and the most rapid way to 
transmit the mail, as a precursor to let the people know of 
the approach of the United States mail, a long, tin horn, prob- 
ably five feet long, was carried by the driver (and the driver 
was always a fearless white man) who practiced blowing it 
until he was an expert in winding his blast until the sound 
was eagerly listened for by those who anticipated its coming. 
When the roads were good, a very good speed was attained. 
They usually kept a relay of horses every ten of fifteen miles, 
and a man was employed to care for the horses and have 



298 HISTORY OF 

them harnessed ready for the exchange. The drivers were 
so expert with the whip they could pick a buck fly from the 
ears of the front team, and not touch the horse. In the 
western part of the State, and still farther west, it became 
necessary to arm the driver to protect his passengers and 
any valuables he might be transporting. An efficient mode 
of arming the driver was to furnish him with a double- 
barrel shot gun, cut off short so it could be carried in the 
pants leg, with a hole cut in the bottom of his boot, so when 
ordered by the bandit to "throw up his hands," he could 
throw up his foot and down the robber when not expecting 
it. In the olden times the occupation of the stage driver 
was anything else than a sinecure. 



Lee Dunlap Kills James Glea^son. 

In October, 1868, an election was held in Charlotte, when 
a political dispute arose between Lee Dunlap, colored, and 
Charley Elms. Very ugly words were used, and Elms 
threatened to shoot Dunlap, whereupon Dunlap cursed him 
and pulled his shirt front open and dared him to shoot. 
Elms turned off from the negro and Mr. James Gleason 
remonstrated with him, when the negro shot and killed him. 
He was at once put in jail. There was still a large force of 
Federal soldiers camped around town that was a threat that 
had a strong tendency to keep the negroes in a state of in- 
subordination, and made them exceedingly impudent. After 
keeping Dunlap in jail for a month or two, the Federal com- 
mander sent him to Raleigh to be tried by the Federal Dis- 
trict Court — so said. The noted Tim Lee was sheriff of 
Wake, and he kept Dunlap for several months as his wait- 
ing boy, and in the course of six months he went to Ohio 
without a trial, and has never returned. 

S. A. Harris was Mayor of the town at the surrender, 
and was removed by Gov. Holden, Dr. H. M. Pritchard ap- 
pointed, then Mr. Bizel, then F. M. Ahrens. These appear 
to have held the office but a short while. 

In January, 1866, S. A. Harris was elected and held the 
office till Maj. C. Dowd was elected in January, 1869. 
During Dowd's term of office the Board of Aldermen dis- 
continued burying in the old cemetery. The new one was 
marked off, lots were sold, and some persons moved their 
dead to the new cemetery. 

The manufactories of the city were : Rock Island Woolen 
Mills, John Wilkes' Foundry and Machine Shop, Tatum, 
Sykes & Company's steam work shop, J. Trotter's carriage 
shop, Earnhardt & Company's steam work shop, Tiddy & 
McCoy's marble cutting works, F. A. McXinch's marble cut- 
ting works, Charles Wilson's carriage shop, A. H. Creswelf s 



300 HISTORY OF 

carriage shop, and Robert Shaw & Son's saddle and harness 
shop. Groot, Kuck & Co. were at this time operating a dis- 
tillery in Charlotte. 

The list of lawyers then was an able one, not so numer- 
ous as we have now, but the names of some will last through 
all time: Burwell & Grier, F. S. DeWolfe, S. W. Davis. VV. 
F. Davidson, Hutchison & Brown, R. D. Osborne, Jones & 
Johnston, S. P. Smith, W. M. Shipp, Vance & Dowd. J. H. 
Wilson and R. P. Waring. Almost the entire list was com- 
posed of men who followed the Confederate flag, and now 
desired to assist in building up the wreck of our beloved 
State. There were 17 t merchants and tradesmen of all 
kinds then doing business in the town. At this time there 
were sixteen gold mines in operation in Mecklenburg county. 
This was only four years after the most destructive war that 
was ever waged against the Anglo-Saxon race, when every- 
thing of value had been destroyed, and a conquering army 
flushed with victory were watching our every move to heap 
indignities upon us and make us feel the bitterness of de- 
feat. 

But time heals wounds that were grievous and hard to 
be borne, and rankled in great bitterness. Our country was 
left poor indeed ; not a dollar was left even lor those who 
had been in the most affluent circumstances. But our South- 
ern people went to work with a will that reminds us of the 
days when we snatched victory from seeming defeat. For 
seven years after the surrender not a public school was 
taught in North Carolina. 

The educational facilities of the city were limfted to the 
Charlotte Female Institute, Mecklenburg Female College, 
Male Academv bv Rev. R. H. Griffith, St. Peter's School, 
Rev. B. S. Bronson, and Biddle Institute for the colored 
race. This last was endowed by money from the North, 
and since then money has been spent lavishly, and most ele- 
gant buildings and equipments have been furnished, so that 
no institution for the education of the colored race can b: 
found in all the Southern States that can surpass Biddl 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 301 

in appointments for the purpose intended, viz. : a university 
for the education of the young men of the negro race. 

There was but one national bank in the town at that time, 
the First National, of which R. Y. McAden was president 
and M. P. Pegram cashier. A. G. Brenizer was cashier of 
the City Bank of Charlotte, and C. N. G. Butt teller. Thos. 
W. Dewey was president of the Bank of Mecklenburg. F. 
H. Dewey cashier. These banks furnished all the money 
needed to do the business of the town. 

For the times and circumstances of the country, the town 
was pretty well off in railroad facilities. The North Caro- 
lina Central, Columbia and South Carolina, the Lincoln or 
Western Division of the Carolina Central, and the States- 
ville Railroad. These seemed to give us plenty of outlet for 
the amount of trade. They afterward grew as greater 
facilities were called for. The first railroad to enter the 
town was the Charlotte & Columbia Railroad, in 1852. 
Then the North Carolina Central Railroad from Golds- 
boro to Charlotte in 1856. Then the Carolina Central 
from Wilmington, by Charlotte to Lincolnton and up 
into the mountains after the war. The Atlantic, Tennes- 
see & Ohio Railroad, commonly called the Statesville 
Railroad, was built in 1860-61. In 1864 it was taken up 
to finish out the road from Greensboro to Danville. 
It was vital to the welfare of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia that we should have two great lines by which we could 
feed and supply the great army that upheld the Southern 
Confederacy. This road was afterwards rebuilt, in about 
1874. In about the same period the county voted $200,000 
to build the road to Atlanta, Ga. ; also $100,000 to recon- 
struct and equip the Statesville road. These roads have 
done much for the county and town. 



Mint Erected to Accommodate Those Engaged 

in Mining. 

In t830-'35 considerable attention was paid to mining, 
especially to gold mining. All through this section of the 
State and adjoining States there was a feverish desire to 
find a rich gold mine. It was not uncommon to find chunks 
of gold; some persons keeping the beautiful lumps to prop 
the door of the house open, and carelessly handled, not 
knowing what it was worth. 

It was now thought advisable to have a mint here at home, 
and not have to travel long distances to have the precious 
metals coined, as the only way to get to Philadelphia was 
horseback, by wagon or stage. Fifty miles a day was con- 
sidered good traveling, and not more than half the year 
could this speed be attained. In 1836 the United States 
Mint was built. Mr. John H. Caldwell made the brick and 
delivered them, when the internal appliances were furnished 
by the Government, and work was commenced and carried 
on regularly up to the time of the Civil War. Since then it 
has only been used as an assay office. 

During the first term of Mr. Cleveland's administration 
the remainder of the lot was used for governmental building 
— a Federal court room and postoffice. The balance of the 
lot has been beautified by being used as a city park, a place 
of recreation, musical entertainments and amusements for 
children. 



15he Town Pump. 

One of the oldest works of the town, and that impressed 
itself upon the memory of all who saw it, or I should say 
them, was the public pump that stood on Tryon street, oppo- 
site the Charlotte Hotel, and opposite the Nczvs office. They 
furnished water for every one in need in the town, and for 
alt teams passing- through the town. When they were dug, 
or who walled them, or who made the pumps and put them 
in, we can only guess it was a large-hearted individual, 
moved by the authority of the town. No doubt the town 
was governed as wisely then as now, but probably the con- 
veniences were net so numerous. In the days of the pumps 
the streets were not macadamized, or the sidewalks curbed 
and paved, or not even planked; but in dry weather the 
streets were firm, and in wet weather mud was plentiful 
everywhere. Every one had a door mat of shucks to wipe 
the shoes on after they had been to the iron scraper, which 
was fastened to> the end of the lower step. These pumps 
were removed and the wells filled up when the court house 
was torn away from Independence Square. But another 
pump stood in front of the court house ort West Trade 
street, at the edge of the pavement, not in the middle of the 
street as the first ones did. No doubt they served a good 
purpose for a long time, but they proved an eye sore till they 
were removed. The town is so located as to be midway be- 
tween two creeks that run parallel for several miles before 
forming a junction, and Sugar Creek furnishes an abundant 
supply of water, but when the city doubles its present size, 
a large supply will have to be obtained, which can easily be 
obtained from the Catawba river. A fall of sufficient 
amount can be obtained from Mountain Island, about seven- 
teen miles west of the town. 



Public Works in Charlotte Fifty Years Ago. 

At this period no improvements of streets were indulged 
in further than working the big roads to keep them passable 
for wagons and horseback riding. But few houses stood on 
North Tryon beyond the county jail, corner of Tryon and 
Sixth street. At this time the jail was regarded as a fine 
structure, probably the finest house in the town, and served 
as the county prison till the days of reconstruction were over, 
when a new one was built on a much larger scale, and in a 
mere retired part of the town. South Tryon street did not 
extend below where the Catholic church now stands, and but 
few houses filled the vacancies up to Boyd's Hotel, which 
stood on the south corner of fourth and Tryon. The female 
academy stood on the square where J. H. Carson now re- 
sides. It was burned down about this time, and this square 
was used for a great barbecue at the celebration which was 
held in 1852 at the completion of the Charlotte and Colum- 
bia Railroad. The completion of this road made quite an 
epoch in the history of Charlotte and the surrounding coun- 
try. 

About three vears before this a barbecue was held in the 
large grove owned by Dr. D. R. Dunlap, now owned by C. 
Lee Hunter, Esq. A large concourse of people were in at- 
tendance, and Hon. Joseph H. Wilson and Hon. J. W. Os- 
borne were the principal speakers. Strange as it may ap- 
pear, yet it is nevertheless true, the Whigs believed in in- 
ternal improvements, and the Democrats opposed anything 
of the kind. Whigs and Democrats had no confidence in 
each other, and party spirit ran so high that the sons of one 
party would not marry a daughter of the other. Dr. Dun- 
lap and Peter Brown, between C and D streets, were sup- 
posed to live out in the country. T. J. Holton's printing 
ofTice (where the Charlotte Whig was published) was on 
the east corner of College and Trade, and but few buildings 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 305 

up to the square. Leroy Springs built up his corner where 
Jordan's drug store now is in 1830, which was the most 
handsome store in town. He had a large cellar door to his 
basement, which was left open, and which proved a danger- 
ous trap for anything that did not have its eyes the way it 
was moving. 

Capt. Samuel Lowrie was drilling a cavalry company in 
the streets on a general muster day, when his horse became 
unmanageable and backed down into the cellar with his 
rider. The crowd became silent and awe struck, feeling sure 
that both the captain and his fiery steed were killed, but the 
suspense lasted but a moment, when Capt. Lowrie rode out 
with spurs to his horse, when the crowd gave a deafening 
yell of approbation of the fine horsemanship displayed, which 
Capt. Lowrie received him with his hat in his hand, and re- 
turned a most graceful bow. 

In i860 Charlotte town was about 3,000. A directory 
was issued that year, and is presumed to be correct. It was 
then said that Charlotte was a growing city, that it was 
located about the centre of the great mineral wealth of the 
State. The United States government established a branch 
mint here in 1837 for the accommodation of the mining in- 
terests of the State, and other States where it was more con- 
venient than Philadelphia. This has proved a benefit, inci- 
dentally, to the town. 

It is said in a directory gotten out in 1869, that in the 
State there was 200 mines and forty cotton factories, em- 
ploying $3,000,000. That is not a bad record for that day, 
but it looks small when compared with the cotton manufac- 
turing industry at the present time in Charlotte alone, when 
with the new mills, there will be 150,000 spindles, 2,000 
looms, 5,000 operatives, a yearly pay roll in wages of 
$1,000,000 and a valuation of $7,000,000 on the manufac- 
tured products. 

At this time the city contained a population of 6,000 peo- 
ple, and an abundant supply of newspapers, three daily 
papers, viz. : the Charlotte Observer, the Carolina Times. 



306 ill STORY OF 

edited by Hon. R. P. Waring; the Courier-Bulletin, by E. H. 
Britton. editor. Gen. D. H. Hill was then publishing The 
Land We Love, and Mr. W. J. Yates was editor of the 
Western Democrat. 

It is sad to know that every practicing physician who was 
living in Charlotte at that time is dead. The wheels of time 
never stop for the convenience of man. nor for the tides in 
the revolutions of a nation. J. M. Miller, C. J. Fox, Robert 
Gibbon, W. W. and R. K. Gregory, J. P. McCombs, J. B. 
Jones, S. E. Bratton, P. P. Medlin, L. G. Jones, J. C. Neel 
are a complete list of those who were actively engaged in the 
practice of medicine in 1869. None of them reached a very 
great age. 

Maj. C. Dowd was comparatively a stranger, recently had 
come to Charlotte, but the people prevailed on him to accept 
the mayoralty of the town. It was a difficult place to fill, 
while Yankee soldiers often made the laws and superin- 
tended their execution. It is a difficult matter to present the 
truth of history so that the people of this generation will be- 
lieve what the good men and women had to endure. But 
in 1S69 we got a Board of Aldermen that will reflect credit 
upon the good people of the town. The list is as follows: 
J. A. Young, Jonas Rudisill, J. A. Earnshaw, A. W. Gray, 
R. McDonald, H. G. Springs, S. W. Davis, John Treloar, 
A. H. Creswell, William Maxwell, James Harty and J. Y. 
Bryce. At this time we began to fill the town offices with 
high-toned men who would act honestly and deal out justice 
"between man and man. Capt. A. Burwell was town clerk 
and treasurer; J. J. Sims constable, and Charles Elms cotton 
weigher and inspector. And the police consisted of the fol- 
lowing good men: L. A. Blackwelder, chief; Thomas Har- 
fcey, Joe Orr, G. W. McManus, W. B. Taylor, Robt. Howie, 
M. Harkey, Mike Healey, S. M. Jamison. These will be re- 
membered as good and efficient officers. And as the most 
of the county officials resided in the town, we give the names 
of those who held the reins of government in the last days of 
reconstruction : Col. E. A. Osborne, clerk of the Superior 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 307 

Court; W. P. Little, coroner; Capt. R. M. Oates, chairman, 
S. W. Reid, R. R. King, R. L. Detmond and Thomas L. 
Vail, County Commissioners ; F. M. Ross, Register of 
Deeds; R. M. White, Sheriff; W. P. Bynum, Solicitor Ninth 
Judicial District; S. E. Belk, Treasurer. 

The people now began to breathe easier, but still they had 
to be very careful how they expressed themselves and how 
they acted. The "Red Strings" took notice of every word 
that an ex-Confederate uttered, and all over the South com- 
menced burning barns and gin-houses, that gave rise to the 
"Ku Klux Klan," which was all that saved the South from 
a worse fate than befell San Domingo. In the language of 
the Alabama poet — 

" As it is I can't tell you, in numbers sublime, 
The thing's that I know of in prose or in rhyme; 
But I'll swear that we had just a hell of a time, 
Enduring 1 the days of reconstruction. " 



Changes in Mecklenburg in the La.st Century. 

One hundred years ago our grand-fathers were the active 
men in all branches of progress. The wealthy people all 
lived in the country. They never thought of riding in a car- 
riage or gig. Buggies were not then made, but every man 
kept a first-class horse. A horse that had a good walk, trot 
or gallop was always in demand. The fancy gaits that we 
now see had not been developed — like "single-footing," was 
not common until recent years. The best of houses were on 
the plantation. Until the last fifty years it was difficult to 
get suitable lumber. The first steam saw mill in the county 
was after 1850. Then the county commenced improving her 
dwellings — building frame instead of brick. In the eastern 
part of the county, where building rock could be easily ob- 
tained, rock houses were built before the Revolutionary 
war. The century was well advanced before many fine 
houses were built in Charlotte. The great bulk of the im- 
provements that have been made in the city, has principally 
been done since 1880. Since then many new streets have 
been opened and macadamized. The old military academy 
has been turned into a graded school; a new building on 
Ninth street was put up for the same purpose, both schools 
barely furnishing sufficient room for all who will accept free 
tuition. There are two first-class private schools for boys 
in the First and Fourth wards. 

A system of street cars was started by horses, but it was 
soon found inadequate for the city, and electric cars soon 
took their place and yield a handsome revenue, running in 
all parts of the city, with a bright prospect in the near future 
of the track being extended to the Catawba river. But a few 
years ago our people were moved with wonder and amaze- 
ment at every new discovery that was brought to their at- 
tention. Now in this second year of the Twentieth century 
they think as a matter of course something will be gotten 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 309 

ready to meet any emergency that may arise. We have as 
yet nothing that is perfected to take the place of the hand 
hoe to thin the cotton to a stand, to dress it up for rapid 
growth. Nor have we yet succeeded with a machine to 
gather the cotton when it matures. But the inventive genius 
of our people is ever on the lookout for anything to save 
labor, or cheapen the cost of production. The railroads of 
the country, and the public roads of the county call for hands 
and machinery: so do the great plants of the various foun- 
dries, and other large works employing hundreds of labor- 
ers. So that a constant stream from other sections is nec- 
essary, in order to supply the demand for labor. The num- 
ber of cotton mills now running in the county makes farm 
labor very scarce. Twenty-five years ago> a great improve- 
ment began on county homes, but now we see this is stopped 
and the land owners are moving to the city and railroad sta- 
licns; if not to work in shops or factories, to get where they 
will get the advantage of better schools. This is a fast age. 

Sixty years ago, or in the early part of the century we did 
not look for a radical change, and it did not come. But when 
the times were ripe for railroadsto be built, we heard the iron 
horse in every direction. Steam has wrought a great revolu- 
tion in the last fifty years in Mecklenburg county. It is now 
used in the place of human labor. In all places that formerly 
required muscle, now we see machinery, as if thinking how 
to do the bidding of its master. 

One of the great changes we see in Charlotte is "the get 
up and push" of all the trades people. The mighty push to 
pick up the floating dollar seems to be the chief aim of life. A 
generation or two ago, the women took a delight in showing 
each other their fine handiwork. They knit most beautiful 
hoods and shawls ; stockings that would now be the envy of 
these who only dress in store clothes. All the clothing was 
made at home, except wedding outfits, or for extra occa- 
sions. All the foot wear was home made ; the material was 
carcied, spun, and knit; the clothes for the entire family. 
white and black, was all done or supervised at home. Fifty 



3IO HISTORY OF 

years ago the women always took their work with them 
when they went visiting. They would either spend the day 
or go immediately after dinner. Until the last twenty-five 
years everybody ate dinner at 12 o'clock. Persons who were 
able 10 afford it, always carried a nurse along to care for the 
baby. If they wished to go several miles, and the roads 
were bad, they generally put in two or three days. In a visit 
of th^t length, all the neighborhood news was pretty well 
ventilated. In our churches at this time, it was customary 
to hold communion twice a year, when it was thought best 
to have one or more preachers to assist in the service. The 
meeting would begin on Thursday and continue till Mon- 
day evening. It always was a solemn time. Tokens were 
given to each communicant on Friday or Saturday to prevent 
any one from sitting down to the Lord's table who were un- 
worthy ; and the tokens were collected on Sunday while the 
sacrament was being administered. The long tables that 
extended across the church with low benches to sit on, have 
all parsed away, and the present plan has been adopted. 



HeaJthfvilness of Mecklenburg. 

We have no data to go by for the first hundred years of 
Mecklenburg's history; but from the sparseness of popula- 
tion of the first century, we can safely say it was a rare thing 
for an epidemic to appear in her confines. Ordinary chills 
and fevers, pneumonia, pleurisy, typhoid fever, rheumatism 
with the contagious diseases peculiar to childhood, have been 
common to all parts of our country. But severe epidemics 
have left marks of their ravages only in the last sixty years. 

In 1845 an epidemic of erysipelas raged with great vio- 
lence through the county. One-fourth of those attacked 
died. It commenced with a chill, lasting from two to four 
or six hours, followed with high febrile excitement, with 
diptheritic exhudation in the throat and fauces. The head 
was frequently swollen to the size of a half bushel measure, 
the act of swallowing much hindered, if not rendered impos- 
sible, and the eyes entirely closed, and the entire body emit- 
ting an odor very similar to gangrene or mortification. 
Whether it was an epidemic, or when started it became con- 
tagious, it is now uncertain. The first case in the county 
was a man by the name of Fizell, a Kentucky hog drover. He 
stopped over night with a steam doctor by the names of Jas. 
Clark. In the night he had a violent chill, followed by a 
high fever, for which Dr. Clark bled him. In a few hours 
he sent for Dr. M. W. Alexander, who found a violent attack 
of erysipelas, which began where the lancet opened the vein 
of the arm and spread rapidly. Dr. Alexander said, "He 
should not have been bled, as it would hasten the disease to a 
fatal termination." Mr. Fizell replied, "Don't blame him, 
Doctor, for the poor damned fool had no better sense." The 
case ended fatally, and Dr. Alexander was the next victim. 
The doctor was very popular, and an immense crowd at- 
tended his funeral and the disease spread with wonderful 
rapidity. Vast numbers died in the upper part of the county. 



312 HISTORY OF 

Some sections the burials ranged from one to six per clay, 
and this- in a sparsely settled country was putting the death 
rate very heavy. It was difficult in some families to have the 
sick cared for, and often but few to attend a funeral. A 
panic was among the people, and the sick were much neg- 
lected, and there was considerable suffering; but after two 
or three months the plague was stayed. In this epidemic the 
whites were the principal sufferers, although the blacks had 
the disease, not one-fourth the number of them were affected 
by it, yet it proved fatal to a considerable extent. 

In the years 1853, 1854, 1855 and 1856, we had an epi- 
demic of dysentery that was very fatal. It was said that 

Dr. lost one thousand cases in the county during 

the scourge, which lasted four seasons. It was emphatically 
a summer disease; no special cause was assigned, but hot 
weather and eating fruits. Fifty years ago but little atten- 
tion was paid to the cause of disease, but the symptoms were 
combatted as they should arise. Microbes did not then exist, 
or at least had not been discovered. The deadly miasma 
that arose from the swamps and low grounds was virilent 
enough of itself to produce chills and fever, without the aid 
of mosquitoes. 

Whether this malaria generated in our creek bottoms and 
swamps could have given rise to dysentery, as the people be- 
lieved it made chills and fevers, is still a disputed question, 
but it is a fact admitted by all, that it was a very fatal disease. 
Typhoid fever was more common in former years than of 
late. In ante helium days, the negro was specially liable to 
the disease, but for the last third of the Nineteenth century, 
he is almost exempt from it, and has taken on consumption, 
which is more fatal in its consequences. 



Snow on the 15th of April. 1849. 

Everything in the way of vegetables was well advanced in 
the spring of 1849. The farmers were ready to give corn its 
first plowing when the snow came. It fell very gently, no 
crust on top. It was so piled up in the apple blossoms that 
they looked like snow balls. All vegetation was killed, no 
fruit that was in bloom escaped being killed. The great crop 
of Mecklenburg "blackberries" alone escaped of all our 
fruits. The tender shoots on the forest trees, with all the 
herbs and grasses were nipped "with one fell swoop" of the 
devouring king. It was not till mid-summer that the trees 
made a respectable shade, or the cattle could make a tolera- 
ble living in the range at large. The snow was about five 
inches deep, and got in his accustomed work the middle of 
April with as much efficiency as in earlier months. On May 
18 and 20, 1875, the frost was so heavy that the wheat all 
fell down, corn and cotton was badly killed, and vegetation 
in general was badly set back. Our seasons have changed 
very much in the last fifty years, our springs have become 
later. We formerly planted cotton the first of April, now it 
is frequently the tenth of May before cotton is planted. The 
falls are noticed to linger in the lap of summer, and the 
vegetation remains green until the middle of October. 



Aurora. Borea-lis as Seen in October, 1865. 

A most wonderful electrical display, which disturbed the 
serenity of many of the people of Mecklenburg, who wit- 
nessed the gorgeous display in the after part of the night. 
Mr. E. A. McAuley was asked by two deserters from the 
Confederate States Army the next morning after the occur- 
rence, if he could explain the phenomena. He said, "Yes, it 
was the devil uncapping hell to take in all deserters of the 
Confederate Cause." 



"Starrs Fell" in the Fall of 1833. 

One of the most remarkable events that ever occurred in 
the history of the State, or of America, was the wonderful 
fall of meteors in 1833. It was not in a single county or a 
State, but its appearance was in all parts of America. With- 
out noise or trumpet or any disturbance in the elements, little 
blazing balls of light, like shooting stars, commenced falling 
soon after dark, and kept on till daybreak. The most of the 
meteors would fall three or four feet from the ground and 
the blaze would then go out, and leave no residue. It was 
a most beautiful sight; not burning or setting fire to any- 
thing, simply a blazing ball of gas. Many very ignorant peo- 
ple, in their fright, thought judgment day was at hand. It 
soon passed from the imaginations of the masses, and was 
only remembered as a great display of electricity, or as an 
eclipse of the sun. 



15he Passing of an Aerolite From West to Eevst. 

Probably in the year 1846, or thereabouts, in the summer 
time, in the afternoon of a warm, clear day, a very large 
areolite passed over Alexandriana Academy, making a roar- 
ing noise louder than that made by a train of cars. It was 
going in an easterly direction, emitting sparks by the thou- 
sands as it rushed on in its course, gradually approaching the 
ground, till it fell in the southeastern part of Cabarrus 
county. The teacher in the academy when he heard the roar- 
ing, called to the pupils "to run quick, that the house was on 
fire." Fortunately there was no damage done to the house, 
for it did not fall in less than twenty miles, where it was after- 
wards discovered. Its weight was several tons. Pieces of 
it was carried off and placed in cabinets of minerals. It was 
spoken of for a long time, and was supposed by many of the 
common people to be a piece of some disrupted planet; that 
this block came to earth, and here met an obstacle that it 
could not pass. 



Earthquake Shocks in 1886. 

On the last night of August, in 1886, the people of Meck- 
lenburg were shaken up, and many of them alarmed at the 
convulsions of nature. Some few persons who had a clear 
conscience and a good digestion, slept on as peacefully as 
an infant. The first came about 10 o'clock, probably one- 
third of the people in Mecklenburg were asleep, and many of 
those who had done a hard day's work, did not awake. But 
on the farms the negroes were badly frightened ; they called 
their nearest neighbors to come to their relief; some prayed 
aloud with great earnestness; others thought some enemy 
was trying to pull down their house, and they were defend- 
ing their premises with rifles, pistols, shot guns, or any- 
thing they could get hold of. Cries of distress and fear 
could be heard on all sides, that were truly distressing. A 
large family who lived in a large house, some of the mem- 
bers had retired, and the father had partaken too freely of his 
cups to be reasoned with, when the family all got safely out 
of the house, begged the father to get up and come out of 
the house, that judgment day had come. Immediately the 
firm answer came back, "Go back to your beds you fools you, 
don't you know judgment day is not coming in the night?" 
How many people will leave home when great fear comes 
upon them ; they are hunting sympathy, or protection. In 
a negro church near Huntersville, the house was crowded 
when the first shock was felt, but the preacher partially 
quieted the alarm, saying, "If that is some mischievous per- 
sons doing that, they will be afraid to do it again ; but if it's 
the Lord, look out." Just at the instant the house was 
shaken more violently than before, when the negroes poured 
out the doors and windows, and over the heads of those who 
did not move fast enough — it was a panic, A religious 



3l8 HISTORY OF 

awakening was started among both whites and blacks ; but, 
like all revivals that spring from fear, it soon passed away. 

August 31, 1886, was the date of the great earthquake 
of the century. Its centre was near Charleston, S. C. Prob- 
ably its centre was in the Atlantic ocean near Charleston. 
The damage to buildings and railroads was very great. The 
ground in many places near the coast was sunken several feet 
and in other places was raised, making it appear in waves. 
It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the dam- 
ages to buildings and railroads. In the up-country but com- 
paratively little damage was done to buildings, except that 
brick buildings were cracked and rendered unsafe. A per- 
fect pandemonium of fear and alarm ran riot over the coun- 
try. The people were not educated in the behavior of earth- 
quakes, and not one out of fifty persons knew what it was. 
Of course fright and fear filled the hearts of most persons 
who had no knowledge of such phenomena. In every direc- 
tion in the country you could hear cries of dirtress — one per- 
son called to another to come to them. The lamps setting 
about in the houses were shaken so violently that they were 
taken from the mantle or table and put on the floor. 

Many persons who paid no attention to religion were per- 
suaded through fear that they needed assistance from a 
higher power. Loud prayers and strong crying was heard in 
many places, and many joined the Church. 

A friend of mine coming home from Church in the upper 
part of this county, said when he heard the rumbling noise 
that accompanied the earthquake, he immediately got off the 
track of the railroad, thinking it was the train coming. Oth- 
ers saw electric balls of fire flashing along the track. I had 
two little boys, 15 years old, sleeping out in my office, who 
ran into my dwelling house after the first shock, and I asked 
them "what the dog was barking at so furiously." They 
said, "Somebody's horses and wagon went by the office like 
a whirlwind." This noise was from southeast to north- 
west ; such appeared to be the course of the cesmic disturb- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 3IO, 

ance. These shocks were continued for several days, at 
intervals of a few moments to several hours. This is a fair 
statement of what took place in one hundred miles of Char- 
lotte. But the nearer you approch to Charleston, or the 
centre of the disturbance, the greater was the destruction of 
property, many houses were rendered unsafe, and some were 
shaken down. 



Progress. 

The olden times have passel away, and their associations 
have in a great measure been forgotten with their plans of 
education, when it was thought that boys were alone worthy 
of an education — at least of a high class, that would fit them 
for the most exalted positions in the State. That filling the 
place of maid — of all work, was the highest round on the 
ladder of fame that a girl was capable of filling, unless she 
was born under a "lucky star." The aristocracy of one hun- 
dred years ago was handed down from royalty, and cropped 
out in generations after leaving a government that was run 
by the best of the land. That was far superior to a rule of 
money bags, which now controls in this country. For more 
than a quarter of a century millionaires have bought seats 
of Senators with enormous wealth, and had no other claim 
to patriotism. But we are happy to know that in our county 
no office has ever been obtained through barter or fraud, nor 
in the State of North Carolina. 

In the first sixty years of the Nineteenth century, not a sin- 
gle millionaire could be found in North Carolina; since then 
a few men have crept up to the much desired mark, and as 
they ascended the giddy height, probably one hundred were 
forced on the downward scale. The two extremes of riches 
and poverty meet here in Mecklenburg, but we have very few 
of either class in our more than fifty thousand population. 
Our county is now progressing in a most satisfactory man- 
ner; our modes of- agriculture have kept pace with the im- 
provements of the age; it is now not necessary to sow the 
wheat, oats and rye by hand; drop corn, peas and other 
things by hand, but everything is worked by machinery. 

In the early years of the century almost every one lived in 
the country, and continued to live on the farm till 1850. The 
evolution of Southern hospitality was not interfered with 
in any form until we were robbed of our liberty and denied 



MKCKLENBURG COUNTY. 321 

the right of managing our private affairs as a free people 
were accustomed to do for one hundred years. The people 
of Mecklenburg were noted for their hospitality, and would 
never take advantage of a neighbor's necessity. It was rare 
and uncommon for a friend or neighbor to charge another 
interest for the loan of money for a few months, or a year; 
he would simply say, "I loaned my neighbor or friend for 
accommodation; I don't keep money for speculation." Sim- 
ply to be wealthy did not give a passport into select society; 
a clean moral character would have to' be accepted. The 
public roads were regarded good in dry weather, and ex- 
ceedingly bad in wet weather. Fifty years ago to haul pro- 
duce to market was a job to be dreaded. To Cheraw, in 
South Carolina, was then our nearest market, generally 
taking about eight or ten days ; or a trip to Charleston, con- 
suming three weeks, and to Philadelphia, six to eight weeks. 
Roads in that early period were poorly worked, just so that 
they would "pass muster." 

The first agricultural fair ever held in Mecklenburg was 
in the year 1846. It is not known to what extent it was ad- 
vertised, but it must have been very limited from the num- 
ber of persons who attended, and the articles on exhibition. 
The first fair was held in the back room and the back yard 
of H. B. & L. S. Williams' store, which was located at the 
corner of the Second ward, where is now kept the Carolina 
Clothing Company. 

The middle of the afternoon of that momentous Novem- 
ber day, a few of the county's best farmers congregated in 
the rear of H. B. & L. S. Williams emporium to talk of what 
the foremost county of the State could do, and what the 
county proposed to do. They did not despise the day of 
small things. The people were looking forward when the 
day should come that agriculture would eclipse all that had 
been done, or dreamed it was possible to do. But in justice 
to the people of the county and to those outside her borders, 
it is fit and proper that an account of the fair — probably the 
first in the State — certainly the first in Mecklenburg county. 



322 HISTORY OF 

There were no marshals appointed for the occasion; there 
may have been a president and secretary, but 110 1 one ap- 
peared to be in command. Maj. Ben. Morrow did the most 
of the talking - . He invited the crowd into the back room of 
the store where we examined seven or eight of the largest 
turnips that ever grew in the county. These were thoroughly 
examined, and pronounced most excellent. There was noth- 
ing else in the room intended for exhibition, we were asked 
out in the yard to pass judgment on a horse colt and a mule 
colt — one year old the next spring, their tails and main per- 
fectly matted with cockleburs — next was a very fine Durham 
bull, belonging to Maj. John Caldwell. This constituted the 
first fair. Col. B. W. Alexander urged its repetition with 
greater effort. Tt has grown to respectability in the last fifty 
\ ears. 



Gentlemen and La.dies Before the Civil War. 

A complete revolution in manners and habits, in the civili- 
zation of the middle of the last century — all is changed. 

Gentlemen as a rule, attended to their own business. Some 
large farmers who were not willing, or for any cause were 
unable, employed an overseer who attended to the affairs of 
the farm by direction of the owner. In many cases the pro- 
prietor owned several farms or plantations, with a number 
of slaves to each farm, and in those cases the proprietor over- 
saw the different overseers. Of course these are or were rare 
cases. There were not more than a dozen very rich men in the 
county, and probably not more than that many who were 
very poor. In our county poor house there were not more 
than half a dozen, who had to be cared for by the hand of 
charity. The great multitude of our people lived in easy 
circumstances; they lived plainly, were industrious, paid for 
what they purchased, raised what they needed to eat, and 
what they wore. Almost every family had their own loom, 
wheel and cards for every two females of the family, white 
and black. Sewing thread was also spun, doubled and 
twisted on the spinning wheel at home. Only for very fine 
goods was spool thread bought. Flax thread, of different 
colors was brought on by the merchants in hanks of four cuts 
each, which the good housewife would wind into balls, being 
more convenient for sewing. For home made thread, there 
was always kept in reach a ball or cake of beeswax to wax 
the thread, and keep it from getting in knots, or "kinking." 
The civilization of fifty years ago and now, is very different. 

Negro women spent all their time when not employed in 
making or gathering the crops in spinning and weaving 
cloth to make their clothes, or bedding, or clothes for mem- 
bers of the white family. Four to six cuts was regarded a 
day's work, either winter or summer. For a web of fine cloth 
an expert weaver was employed ; usually that would weave 



324 HISTORY OF 

from four to six yards a day, if they had an extra hand to 
"fill the quills." Anything like plain shirting, they could 
weave ten to twelve yards per day. They were not taxed 
very heavily with work when they had children to see after; 
on the whole their life was a happy one, fifty years ago*. 

It was different in many places from what it was here; it 
was common in this country where a man owned a half 
dozen or more negro men, for him to have one a blacksmith, 
or a carpenter, a tanner or a shoemaker; it may be they would 
ziot be fine workmen, but abundantly capable of doing the 
farm repairs that were constantly being needed. In other 
counties, especially south of here, they were not learned a 
trade, but every effort was made to increase their output of 
cotton. 

There was nothing fifty years ago of the "codfish aris- 
tocracy," built on a money basis; but if a man's character 
was good, he was freely admitted into the best society. But 
let him once get down by an ill-timed stroke of policy, or 
overreach his neighbor in a money transaction, or change the 
mark of his neighbor's stock, or be strongly suspected of an 
underhanded trick, he lost his standing instantly; and as a 
rule he never regained his former standing. It was do right, 
or move, or else be under the ban forever. 

Fifty years ago the party lines were so tightly drawn, 
that men in opposing parties — Whigs and Democrats — 
were loth to mingle together freely socially. They fre- 
quently spoke of each other "as a very clever man, but he 
is such a Democrat, or he is such a Whig." In fact it was 
carried so far that a gentleman of good standing in the Dem- 
ocratic party would not pay his address to a young lady 
whose parents were as invenerate Whigs, and vice versa. A 
half century ago the better classes of society were very par- 
ticular with whom they associated; that is they would not 
allow their daughters to go riding, or attend social parties 
or in any way to be thrown together with people of a lower 
caste. Money, or wealth did not give admittance to the cir- 
cles of worth and merit. This did not extend to our common 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 325 

schools or churches, except where there was guilt, criminal 
guilt. Fifty years ago the leveling principle was not tolera- 
ted ; but where worth was found, it was always recognized. 
About 1S56 the bars were let down, or rather thrown away, 
in admitting free suffrage to the voters of North Carolina, 
permitting every one to vote for Senator, the landed inter- 
est of the .State was confided to the non-property holders 
(the land holders being in the minority), here was opened 
the Pandora's box that put in operation the leveling pro- 
cess that destroyed the old time aristocracy of the State, and 
admitted all classes, disreputable characters as well, to the 
highest privileges in the State. Party lines and the party 
lash had a wonderful influence for good or evil, and was 
only tempered by falling into the hands of good men. 

Sixty years ago female education had made wonderful 
progress. Academies, colleges and boarding schools for 
young women and girls were taking a prominent place in 
the .State, and especially in Mecklenburg county. In 1835 
an excellent school was taught in Charlotte by Mrs. S. Nye 
Hutchison, with whom Miss Sarah Davidson was associated 
as music teacher. In the forties a Presbyterian minister by 
the name of Freeman had charge of the school. Then in 
or about 1847, the Rev. Cyrus Johnston took charge of the 
Female Academy and taught a large school till he died in 
1853. Mr. A. J. Leavenworth, a minister, taught and 
preached in Charlotte early in the thirties, for several years 
and afterwards moved to Petersburg, Va., where he ran a 
school for a number of years. Rev. J. M. M. Caldwell and 
wife taught successfully a fine school in Sugar Creek neigh- 
borhood three miles from Charlotte, till he removed to Rome, 
Ga., in 1845. Another school was then gotten up at Clare- 
mont, near Sugar Creek church, taught by Misses Chamber- 
ley and Gould. These were Northern ladies and gave fine 
satisfaction. A fine school for young ladies was taught at 
the residence of J. R. Alexander, half way between Charlotte 
and Davidson College, by the daughter of Mr. Alexander, 
who married Rev. W. W. Pharr, D. D. Now there may have 



326 II I STORY OF 

been other female schools in the county, the names of which I 
do not now recall. Did any other county in the State do as 
well towards educating the girls in either town or country? 
As a rule only those who belonged to the wealthy class en- 
joyed the advantages of education in the early days of the 
Nineteenth century. 

Education in Mecklenburg has been on the increase all the 
time since the first school was taught in the county. It was 
slow progress to build up the schools from their crude start- 
ing point — the little log cabin, with weight poles to hold the 
rough boards in their place; dirt floor, wooden chimney, 
lined with rock; split logs for benches, a log cut out of the 
side of the house to admit light to the writing desk, made by 
boring a hole and putting in a large pin to lay a plank on to 
hold the copybook, or paper. 

This completes the furniture of the school house one hun- 
dred years ago, except the master's chair, and a handful of 
hickories. This is not an inviting picture, but it is a true one. 
No wonder our State has led all her sisters in ignorance of 
books. But the tide is now turned; and if we can prophesy 
from the buildings now going up, the schools now under 
way, the money being spent, we will soon be as far ahead 
of our neighbors as we have been behind. In our town we 
have two colleges for girls that but a few years ago might 
have been taken for palaces. Our graded schools will accom- 
modate two thousand children, with all the paraphrenalia 
that is necessary for a school of the highest order. The 
trustees have had an eye to secure the best teachers, and none 
are retained who do not fill the bill in every particular. The 
school for the negroes is equally efficient, and has the 
same trustees to see that each teacher is capable and does his 
or her work in an admirable manner. Other schools in the 
town, which are private, are well patronized and their boys 
enter with praise whichever college they elect to attend. 
Charlotte is well off for schools for either sex. 

One of the results of the great war between the States 
from 1 86 1 to 1865, was to rob the people of their property. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 327 

bearing heaviest upon the women o<f our country, forcing 
them into channels of trade to which they nor their mothers 
were used in former times. New fields of industry have been 
opened up to girls and women, that prior to 1870 were never 
thought of. In all departments of mercantile life women 
are now an important factor. There is now scarcely a store 
or place of business in our thriving city, but what a young 
lady presides over the apartment suited for female work. 
Hundreds of ladies, even of the best families, fill the short 
hand and typewriter's place in the cotton stores, in the offices 
where machinery of all kinds is kept; in fact they are every- 
where that work is to be done that she is suited for. All 
professional men now have a typewriter, especially lawyers, 
if their business will allow or can afford it. Probably they 
will work for less than a man, or it may be that they are 
more efficient. It is surely not simply a "fad," but renders 
them more independent. 

Quite a number of young women have become nurses in 
hospitals where they are doing a most excellent work. This 
has also developed since 1870. The first Southern woman 
to enter the medical profession was from Mecklenburg 
county. Dr. Annie L. Alexander graduated in Philadelphia 
in 1884, has been a successful practitioner ever since, and 
has led the way in this new venture in all the Southern States 
where many have since followed, and are meeting with suc- 
cess in their new calling. 

The time was in the early part of the century when an ed- 
ucation was almost impossible for a woman in humble cir- 
cumstances to attain. Then but few attained positions above 
that of helping about the house, taking care of the young 
children, raising chickens, milking the cows and making but- 
ter, or working in the fields. In the early years of the cen- 
tury, it was more, than fashionable for young people to 
marry ; it was natural, and it was the rule and not the excep- 
tion to raise large families. From tXvelve to sixteen children 
was by no means uncommon. And the Psalmist was often 
quoted where he said, "Hapy is the man who has his quiver 



328 HISTORY OF 

full of them." In that age the people lived plainly; the 
hours of the day and night were kept separate, the day for 
Avork and the night for sleep and rest. They raised on the 
farm what they wanted to eat, and spun their clothing at 
home. It was considered quite an accomplishment for the 
mistress of a household to be an expert in cutting and fitting 
a dress, a man's coat, vest and pants. This was an accom- 
plishment to be proud of. If a man should be so unfortunate 
as to marry a woman who knew nothing about having the 
family clothed and fed, and the house furnishings attended 
to, with a growing family of children to provide for. he was 
to be pitied indeed. Such cases were rare, but not unknown. 
Newspapers were scarce at this period, and the dime novel 
was unheard of, and the light, trashy reading of the present 
day was undreamed of. Hence no time was idled reading 
unprofitable works. 



PaJrol in Slavery. 

Many changes have taken place in the last forty years, 
mostly for the betterment of our people. About the year 
1740 people began to move from the older settled portions 
of the country to find new homes in the various sections of 
the county. From the time the first emigrants began to seek 
homes in the wilds of this part of the country — before the 
county was laid off — the negro came along as part of the 
emigrants' family, with no one to interfere or put mischief 
in his head: but was taught the rudiments of religion with 
the skill of cultivating the soil. That was a time when one 
section did not envy another, but stood ready to lend a help- 
ing hand against a native foe, and a few years later to com- 
bine against the tyranny of England. 

The climate and soil of Mecklenburg were suitable and 
were eminently fitted for slave labor to be profitable. In one 
hundred years the increase in numbers was very great, not- 
withstanding large numbers were moved South and West, 
as the citizens sought more fertile lands, as the markets of 
the world were opened up to king cotton. It soon became 
the custom to sell all the bad negroes; in fact, the good peo- 
ple of a neighborhood would not tolerate a bad character at 
home, either man or woman. One who was smart and given 
to crime, had a most pernicious effect on those with whom 
he came in contact ; hence he was promptly sold out of the 
State. It was to prevent negroes from holding meetings at 
night and on Sundays for planning mischief, that our county 
courts organized the patrol to keep the negroes from congre- 
gating at places unbeknown to their masters. They were 
permitted to go to the church of their choice, and were not 
interfered with. If they wanted to visit any of their friends 
at night or Sunday, they could easily get a pass, which would 
insure them safety from the patrol. The last twenty-five 
years of their servitude, the patrols were very vigilantly en- 



330 HISTORY OF 

gaged in looking after the interests of the South. In about 
1845 ^ was no unusual thing for Northern school teachers — 
both men and women — to come down South to teach school, 
and frequently hold secret meetings with the negroes, doing- 
a great deal of harm to our system of labor, and as abolition- 
ists, rendering the negroes dissatisfied with their lot. This 
was the prime cause of appointing a patrol, and in justifica- 
tion of the good name of the people of Mecklenburg, one 
raid of the patrol will be given : 

One afternoon in the autumn of 1845, Capt. Caleb Hunter, 
who lived in Prosperity neighborhood, received a letter 
from Capt. Johnston, of Paw Creek, requesting him to bring 
his contingent of police or patrol, and make a visit in Paw 
Creek, according to agreement. On Sunday evening about 
sun down, Capt. Hunter, James Alexander, David Allen, 
Henry Hunter, Columbus Corum, with probably two or 
three more, started for the appointed place in Paw Creek. 
When the place was reached, Capt. Johnston was in his yard 
awaiting their arrival. The two captains conferred together 
as to their expected gain, and what should be done with it, 
if found. A ride of two miles more brought them to the 
place. Silently they approached the negro house. They re- 
quested the door to be opened, and a light was quickly made, 
when Air. Allen espied a very fair skinned man lying very 
cozily in bed with his "Dulcinia del Tobosa." Air. Allen 
took him by the collar, and as he led him out, he whispered, 
"I am a while man ; I am a white man." His captor pre- 
tended not to hear him, when he spoke louder and said, "I 
am Mr. Cook, the school teacher." With this Mr. Allen 
gave him a slap on the face and said, "You lying scoundrel, 
you are trying to pass yourself off for Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook 
is a gentleman and would not be caught in a negro house; 
draw your shirt; we will learn you net to try to pass yourself 
for Mr. Cook, you trifling mulatto." Here the captain spoke 
up and ordered him to be given thirty-nine lashes on account 
of his impudence. The law was soon satisfied, and the mis- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 33 1 

cegenationist no longer tolerated in the county. Such char- 
acters were frequently found as camp follower in the wake of 
the Yankee army, sowing the seeds of disaffection and an- 
archy and all the ills that follow where license is encouraged, 
both by precept and example, and where law and order are 
ignored. 

The system of patrolling where judicially carried out, was 
an important factor in preventing trouble with both negroes 
and whites. Mean white men always made mean negroes; 
hence the necessity for a patrol to make each race know their 
position in society. It seems to have been natural for the 
negro to steal, but if he did not get encouragement from the 
low order of the white race, he would not be noted for his 
proficiency in the pilfering art. In ante-bellum times when a 
negro was strongly suspected of trading with a white man. 
their maneuvers were closely watched by the patrol, and 
when caught, the negro was whipped and the white man 
heavily fined, or punished by whipping, stocks, or imprison- 
ment. These were ante-bellum ways of dealing with crime; 
and it was much more effective than the present, which seems 
to say "We are sorry to imprison you, but we will be as light 
as possible." When not interfered with by those who have 
no interest in their welfare, the negroes were a contented 
and happy people. They seldom appeared in our courts, only 
in the gravest of crimes, and then they were the dupes of un- 
principled white men. Well-bahaved negroes had the re- 
spect of the good people wherever known ; but bad and dis- 
reputable white men were equally despised by both white 
and colored persons. As a general rule negroes hated "poor 
white trash," and when spoken to by them, gave unmistaka- 
ble evidence that they considered them their inferiors. Any- 
thing that the master or mistress trusted to the care of a 
negro was as safe as if deposited in the vaults of a bank. 
They were remarkably true to each other, except in cases 
where there had been a quarrel, or a falling out. They would 
never give away one of their color. 



$3 2 HISTORY OF 

It was a noted fact that they would submit to the lash 
rather than tell on each other, even in arson and murder. 
There is as much difference in the breed of negroes as in the 
breed of white people. Some are very tractable and docile, 
others are morose and vicious. A patrol will be needed for 
many years to come. 



Roster of the Twenty-One Companies Furnished 
by Mecklenburg County, N. C, in the War 
of 1861-65. 

To preserve a correct list of all Confederate troops fur- 
nished by Mecklenburg county, N. C, it was moved by 
Capt. John R. Irwin, in the camp of United Confederate Vet- 
erans, while holding a reunion at Sharon church, August 
31, 1894, that Dr. J. B. Alexander be appointed to make a 
Roster of all Confederate troops from Mecklenburg county, 
and have the same published at his earliest convenience. 
The resolution was adopted without a dissenting voice. 

S. H. Hilton, Lieut. Com'dcr. 

D. G. Maxwell, Ad jut. and Sec. 

It should be preserved as important in the history of 
Mecklenburg county, that in i860, at the general election 
for governor, the vote stood: For John W. Ellis, 1,274; 
for John Pool, 757; total, 2,031. Soldiers sent to the C. S. 
A. by Mecklenburg county, 2,713. Were not the people 
terribly in earnest? The number killed, wounded and died 
in the service, was beyond a parallel. The patriotism our 
people are noted for was handed down from sire to son, from 
1775 to 1 86 1. Those who were patriots in the first revolu- 
tion, propagated in every instance patriots in the second. 
Blood will tell. 

Key to Abbreviations. — w, wounded; k, killed; w. c. 
wounded and captured; d, died. 



334 



HISTORY OF 



ROSTER. 



Company B, First, or Bethel, 
Regiment. (Six Months Men.) 

Officers. 

L. S. Williams, captain, cm. 
April iSth, '61, Mecklenburg 
Co. 

W. A. Owens, captian.R. 

W. A. Owens, lot lieutenant, 
cm. April 18th, '61, Mecklen- 
burg Co. 

P., Major of 34th Regt. and 
Lieut. Regt., K. 

Robt. Price, 1st lieut., (Eluled). 

W. P. Hill. 2nd lieut. 

T. D. Gillespie, 3rd lieut. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

T. D. Gillespie. 1st sergeant. 
J. H. Wyatt, 2nd sergeant. 
J. B. French, 4th sergeant 
R. B. Davis, 1st corporal. 
J. J. Alexander, 2nd corporal. 
W. M. iviattheus, Jr. 3rd corpo- 
ral. 
A. M. Rhym, 4th corporal. 
Phillips, 1st sergeant. 
Black Davis, corporal. 
Julius Alexander, sergeant, 
Minor Saddler, druggist. 

Privates. 

Anderson, C. 
Alexander, J. L. 
Alexander, M. E. 
Alexander, P. T. 
Parnett. William. 
Bond, Newton. 
Poone, J. B. T. 
Black, Josiah. 
Bourdeaux, A. J. 
Biggart, W. S. 
Crawford, R. R. 
Crowel', E. M. 
Caldwell, R. B. 
Caldwell, J. E. 
Cannedv, Robt. 
Davis, J. G. A. 
Davis, R. A. G. 
Davidson. J. P. 
Dorsett. J. F. 
Dyer. W. G. 
Easle, A. 
Eagle. John. 
Frazier. M. L. 
Frazier. John. 
Fredrick, J. R. 
Fullenweider, H. 



i''anygen, M. L. 

Gray, H. N. 

Gray, R. F. 

Grier. S. A. 

Graham, S. R. 

Gillett, J. H. 

Griffin, J. H. 

Hunter, J. H. 

Hollingsworth, P. 

Harris, W. L. 

Howell, S. A. 

Hilton, S. H. 

Henderson, W. M. 

Howell, E. M. 

Jacobs, G. W. ■ — 

Jones, Milton. 

Jaswia, L. R. 

Kesiah, Wm. 

Kerr, Wm. J. 

Landler. Orminer. 

Lee, J. M. 

McGlnnis, R. C. 

Lowrie. J. B., k at Gettysburg. 

Muny, T. N. 

McDonald, Allen. 

McCorkle, R. B. 

Mosley, M. 

Means, W. N. M. 

Meholers. John. 

Nichols. J. S. 

Norment, A. A. 

Oates, Jas. H. 

Gates, Coowy. 

Orr, S. H. 

Price. R. S. 

Paredoe.S. 

Phifer, R. 

Pctts, J. H. 

Price, Joseph. 

Phelps. H. M. 

Query, R. W. 

Rose, W. C. 

Rieler, G. H. 

Rea, W. P. 

Rose. W. C. 

Rozzell, W. F. 

Squires, J. B. 

Stowe, John. 

Sharpe, R. A. 

Shaw, L. W. A. 

Sadler, Julius. 

Smith, J. Perry. 

Steel, M. D. 

Sheppard, J. W. 

Taylor, J. W. 

Torrence. George. 

Tovam, Willam. ' 

Tiddv. J. F. 

Tiddy, R. A. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



335 



Tate, A. H. 

Tate, Henry. 
Thompson, R. 
Wagner, J. W. 
Windle, M. F. 
Wiley, W. J. 
Williams, W. S, 
Williamson, J. W. 
Total, 10S men. 
i 

Charlotte Grays, Company C, 
First N. C. (Bethel) Regiment. 
Enlisted April, 1861, 

Officers. 

E. A. Ross, Capt. P. Mlaj. of 

nth N. c. 
E. B. Cohen, 1st lieut . 
T. B. Trotter. 2nd lieut. 
C. W. Alexander, 2nd lieut. 

C. R. Staley, orderly sergeant. 
J. P. Elm=;. 2nd sergeant, P. 

lieut., 37th N. C. 
J. G. Mrf'orkle. 3rd lieut. 
W. G. Berryhill. 4th lieut. 

D. L. Bringle, 5th or Ensign. 
W. D. Elms, 1st corporal, P. 

Capt. 37th N. C. 
W. B. Taylor. 2nd corporal, P. 

2nd Lieut., Co. A, 11th N. C. 
Henry TerrK 3rd corporal. 
George Wolfe, 4th corporal. 
Dr. J. B. Boyd, surgeon. 

Privates. 

Alexander, M. R. 

Alexander, T. A. 

Adams, Lindsey. 

Andrey, J. P., P. Capt., 49th 

N. C. 
Ardrey, W. E., P. Capt., 30th 

N. C. 
Rrown, A. H. 
Brown, Wm. 
Brown, Wm. J. 
Brit ton. Ed. F. 
Behrends. L. 
Calrter, Wm. 
Cathev. J. W. 
Caldwell. S. P. 
Crawson. J. F. 
Cowan, T. B. 
Campbell. T. J. 
Clendenren. J. W. 
ColHns, J. F. 
Davis, T. G. 
Downs, T. J., P. Lieut., 30th 

N. C. 
Downs, L. W. 
Davidson, J. P. A. 
Dunn, J. R. 
Engel, J. 



Earnheardt, J. M. 

Ezzell, M. F. 

Ezzell, J. A. 

Elliott, S. H. 

Elliott, J. A. 

Flow, R.H. 

Flore, James. 

Frazier, I. S. A. 

Grier, R. H., P. Lieut., 49th 

N. C. 
Grier, J. C. Capt. 49th N. C. 
Grier, J. M. 
Gibson, J. A. 
Glenn. D. P. 
Gribble, J. R. 
Gray, N. 
Gil'espie, R. L. 
Hall, D. W. 
Hill. J. C. 
Hill, W. J. 

TJill XT XT 

Harrel, W. Lee, P. Capt. A 11th, 

N. C. 
Hand. Robt. H. P. Lieut. A 

11th N. C. 
Hovvnrd, R. H. 
Howard, Thomas. 
Hutchison, Jos. M. 
Hutch. son, Cvnes N. 
Holton, Tom F. 
Harkey, Tom M. 
Holms T. Lindsey. 
Haskell Jas T. 
Hanger, W. T. 
Herron, George T. 
Howey, Geo. W. 
Harkey. Jacob. 
Henderson. L. P. 
Isreal. Jack R. 
Tcehower. Wm. S. 
Ingold. E. P. 
Johnson, Robt. W. 
Houston, Harper C. 
Hymans, S. 
K^tz. Jacob. 
KMler, Wm. H. 
Kinsey. Jack A. 
Knox J. H. 
Keenan, Robt. 
Leon, Louis. 
Levi, J. C. 
Leorold. J^cob. 
Movie, Henry. 
McPmn. Tom F. 
McKinley. John. 
McKeever, Wm. 
McDonald. D. Watt. 
McDonald, John H. 
Montelth, Robt. J. 
Mo-tieth, Mo«ps O. 
McElroy, Fam'l J. 
Norment, Jack. 
Norment, Isaac. 



33^ 



HISTORY OF 



Neal, Wm. B. 

Neal, L, M. 

Neal S. R. 

Neal, P. A. 

Neely, Thomas W. 

Oppenheim, S. 

Orr, J. T. 

Osborne. John L. 

Orman, J. E. 

Pettus, Mack. 

Phillips, S. A. 

Carter, W. R. 

Caiter, R. A. 

Potts, John G. P. Lieut., 49th 

Rgt. 
Patts, Wm. M. 
Potts, Lawson A. P. Capt. 37th 

N. C. 
Queny, Calvin M. 
Ruddock, Theo. C. 
Rea, J. R. 
Rea, D. B. 
Stone, Wm. D. 
Steele. W. 
Stowe, Jim M. 
Sizer, Wm. E. 
Sims, J. Monroe, Q. M. Sergt. 

11th N. C. 
Springs, Richard A. 
Smith, C. Ed. 
Smith, S. B. 
Smith, M. H. 
Smith. W. J. B. 
Saville, W. H. 
Sample, John W. 
Ssmple, David I. 
Saville, James M. 
Simpson, Robt. Frank. 
Todd, S. E. 
Todd, Wm. 
Treloan, John W. 
Tate, Hugh A. 
Watt. Charles B. 
Watt B. Frank. 
Wing-ate. C. C. 
Wolfe, T. D. 
Wolfe. T. J. 
Wiley, John. 
Total, 143 officers and me" 

Company C, First Regiment N. 
C. Cavalry. 

Officers. 

J. M. MiF.er, captian. 
M. D. L. McLeod. 
R. H. Maxwell, lieut. 
J I,. Morrow, lieut., k. 
W . B. Field, lieut. 
J. F. Johnson, oaptian. 



Non-Commissioned Officers. 

M. Steel. 
D. S. Hutchison. 
J. P. Alexander. 
P. C. Ha: key. 
J. M. Pugh. 
R. H. Cambell. 
D. K. Orr, w. 
J. Lewe'.lyn. 
M. L. Davis. 
J. B. Stearns. 
J. W. Moore. 
J. W. Kizziah. 
W. T. Bishop. 

Privates. 

Antrice, J. W. 
Antrice, W. M., d. 
Archey, J. W. 
Andeison, L. D. 
Ardrery, J. W. 
Blake, S. N. 
Barris, E. C. 
Burris, J. T. 
Breffard, W. J. 
Ballard, F. A. 
Ballaru, J. L. 
Boyd, P. L. 
Butler, J. T. 
Black, T. N. 
Barnett, T. E., k. 
Calloway, J. C, d. 
Cobble, J. D. 
Conner, T. A., d. 
Cottraim, A. W. 
Carroll, J. H. 
Craig, M. F, 
Cruse, M. C. 
Crump, R. H. 
Cathey J. W. 
Davidson, E. C. 
Dulin, J. M., d. 
Edleman, T. P. 
Edwards, A. J. 
Edwards, E., k. 
Efird, J. C. 
Efird, J. E. 
Finley. M. K., w. 
s ~- Furr, John, d. 
Flow, E. 
Flow, J. M., w. 
Fords, H. H. 
Tredermick, W. S., k. 
Tredermick. N. P. 
Tredermick, J. R. 
Gillespie, S. A. 
Gaasesen, W. G. 
Gillespie, A. M. 
Goodsen, H. M. 
Graham, J. R. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



337 



Hurston, A. W. 
Harget, Harrison., d. 
Hargett, F. M., d. 
Hargett, Osborne. 
Hargett, H. M. 
Harkey, T. B., d. 
Helms, J. A. 
Helms, J. W. 
Helms, H. M., c. 
Hopkins, P. 
Hudson, J. H. 
Holden, E. M., d. 
Hilton, S. H. 
Henderson, W. M. F. 
Hunter, J. W., w. 
Hartis, M. A. 
Hartis, A. L. 
Holbrook, A. 
Johnson, W. P. 
Jennings, C. J. 
Jordan, B. F. 
King, R. R. 
Lewis, C. J. 
Lewis, J. M. 
Morris, G. C. 
Martin, Edward. 
MeCall, J. M. 
McCarver, Jas. 
McNeely, T. N., w. 
McLeod, J. M., w. 
MeCall, J. A. 
McGinnis, John. 
McDoughall, M. 
MeCall, Wm. 
McCarver. Alex. 
Noles, A. T., d. 
Noles, W. A. 
Orr, J. A., k. 
Orr, J. J., k. 
Orr, N. D., w. 
Parks J. L., c. 
Potts, T. E. 
Potts, C. A. 
Pholan, J. 
Page, E. M. 
Peach, H. 
Rea, J. M. 
Rea, D. B. 
Robson, G. M. 
Reenhardt, J. F. 
Rea, W. A. 
Rea, R. R. 
Rea, Robt. 
, Rea, J. L. 
Sparrow, J. S. 
Smith, J. W. 
iStanis, J. B. 
Schneider, G. 
Sanders, W. H. 
Starns, C. R., c. 
Steele. W. O. 
Stucker, Christian. 
Tye, W. B., deserted. 



Tomberlen, E. M., w. 
Thompson, J. N., d. 
Taylor, A. W. 
Taylor, Art. deserted. 
Taylor, J. C. 
Taylor, J. A. 
Taylor, J. M. 
Tomlin, J. 
Taylor, W. F. 
Thompson, R. G. 
Underwood, S. M. 
VanPelt, J. N. 
"Vance, J. C, d. 
Ualle, P. O 
Watson, W. A. 
White, J. S. 
Wilson, John. 
Williamson, J. A. 
Werner, L. 
Wallace, M. L., k. 
Williford, T. F. 
Walker, J. B. 
Wallace, Wm., k. 
Williams, J. M. 
Whitaker, H. A., k. 
Tandle, W. A. 
Tandl-, W. H. 
Tandle, J.B. 

Total, 145; from other counties 
56; 8 wounded; killed 9. 

Company D, Seventh Regiment. 

Officers. 

Captain W. L. Davidson. 

Captain T. J. Cahill. 

Wm. J. Kerr,, W. '62, K.'63. 

Tim P. Mollay. 

Lieutenants, I. E. Brown, J. A. 
Torrence, B. H. Davidson, 
Thos. P. Mollay, P. J. Kirby. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

McLure, Jas. M. 
James PauL 
LeLain, Al. 
Herbert, W. G. W. 
Wedlock, W. 
Jamison, S. N. 
Clark, Jas. 
Bundle, Thos. 

Privates. 

Alexander, Wm., d. 

Anderson, Richard. 

Ayers, A. G., c. .'62. 

Bynum, Rufus. d. 

Buglin, Patrick. - 

Beard, J. H., d. 

Bennett, G. W. 

Bennett, J. G. 

Rprry. Jas. 



338 

Hr N 1 ' 
Bolton, G. B. 
Brannan, Patrick. 
Brinkla, John., w. 
Brinkle, Thos. 
Burnett, J. S., d. '62 
Brown, J. J., w. '63 
Eillow, W. H., d. '62. 
Brown, Alex. 
Bxown, Nicholas. 
Donovan, Philip. 
Donovan, Jeremiah. 
Dasinger, Francis. 
Dobson. Hiram. 
Davidson, J. W. 
Davidson, B. W. 
Elliott, Wm. 
Elmore. J. T., d. 
Eller, John. 
Edmirton, J. R„ k. 
Frick, Jacob. 
Fogleman, P. L. 
Gallagher, Arch, w. 
Claywell, J. F., d. '62. 
Carricker. Lev'i d. '62. 
Caskill, Tim L. 
Cable, Lewis. 
Conder, Wiley, k. '63. 
Collins, John. 
Chancy, John. 
Calder, Wm., Sr. 
Calder, Wm., Jr. 
Cashion, Wm., w. 
Cashion, Thomas, k. 
Carter, F. B., d. 
Gallagher, Jas. 
Gleason, Jas. W. 
Grady, Jas. 
Griffin, Thos. 
'Goodman, S C. 
Graves, A. C. 
Grant, R. W. 
Harts ell, J. M., w. 
Howell, Jas. 
Howell, John. 
Howell, David, w. 
Harris, Francis., k. 
Hicks, T. W., w. 
Halshouser, A. R. 
Hanna, J. M., d. 
Humble, David. 
Jcenhour, P. E. 
Jackson, John. 
John E. Edward, k. 
Jones. David, K. 
Jannison, R. J., "W. 
Johnson, Thos. 
Johnson, Rufus. 
Jamerson, S. N. 
Kurtz, P. K. 
Kelley. Lowerence, v 
Kanapum, A. E. 
Kirby, Patrick, w. 
Kisser. Win. 



HISTORY OF 



Kennedy, Jepe. 
Dane, A. D. 
Mason, Wiiley J. 
McConnell, Thos. 
McLellan, W. A. 
McGarar, Wm. W. 
Meredith, Stephen W. 
McGuire, John K. 
MoGinnis, George. 
Munsey, John. 
Mulson, Robt. 
McBean, John. 
Mason, W. B. 
McConnell, T. A., d. 
McConnell, A. M. 
Meredith, J. 
Newton, Eli. 
Newton, Meredith, d. 
Newton, John, k. 
Nail, Richmond, k. 
Nantz, A. E. 
Oliver, Calvin. 
Plyler, R. C. 
Packard, John. 
Petit, Jas. 
Patterson, J. E., k. 
Quinn, Jas. 
Rhodes, Wm. 
Bafferty, Thos. 
Rogers, Jas. 
Rogers, J. C. 
Reynolds, John. 
Riddick, H. L. 
Riddick, J. A. 
Rolmer, W. C. 
Riggins, Robt. 
Sullivan, D. C. 
Stephens, M. 
Spears, Wm. H. 
Stewart, Thos. A . 
Sherill, N. J. 
Seagraves, A. C. 
Sanders, G. W., k. 
Sheridan, John, w. 
Stanning, Wm. 
Stroups, David, k. 
Spawl, A. B. 
Skinner, S. L. 
Sullivan, D. C. 
Staley, John. 
Staly, W. Y. 
Towey, Lewis. 
Vincent, Jas. B. 
Vaker, Wm., w. 
Vance, Richard. 
Vaughn, H. J. 
Weaver, Wm. 
Wilson, Lewis. 
Woodard, W. L., d. 
Williamson, D. J. 
Whalon, Roderick, i 
Wilkerson, W. 
Wilkerson, J. H. 



MKCKLENBURG COUNTY. 



339 



Winecoff, J. T., k. 
Washam, J. B , d. 

Company C, Tenth Regiment 
Artillery, N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

T. H. Brem captain. 

Jos. Graham, captain. 

A. B. Williams, captain, w. 

Robt. Lowrie, lieut. 

W. B. Lewis, lieut. 

Abdan Alexander, lieut., w. 

T. L. Seigle, lieut., w. 

H. A. Albright, lieut. 

J. S. Davidson, sergeant. 

Dennis Collins, sergeant. 

J. L. Hoffman, sergeant. 

R. V. Gudger, sergeant. 

J. E. Albright* sergeant. 

R. P. Chapman, sergeant, w. 

J. P. Smith, sergeant. 

Moses Blackwelder, corporal, d. 

D. M. L. Tont, corporal. 

Patrick Lyons, corporal. 

Mathero Chapman, corporal, 

M. A. Henderson, corporal. 

W. W. Shelby, corporal. 

W. S. Williams, corporal. 

Dan W. McLean, corporal. 

I. N. Peoples, sergeant, d. 

Jas. W. Murry, bugler. 

R. R. Peoples, guidon. 

Wm. H. Runfelt. 

Privates. 

Abernathy, James. 
Abernathy, Clem H. 
Abernathy, Wm. 
Armstrong, Mathews, w. 
Baldwin, Alfred. 
Beatty, Wm. 
Beatty, J. W. 
Bridgers, W. B. 
Burus, Jas. 
Brackett, Wm. 
Broadway, Whitson. 
Buff, Henry. 
Baker, J. B. 
Bray, Winfield M. 
Cannon, Wm. 
Cannon, Fred. 
Cannon, Sid. 
Cannoii, Joseph, d. 
Cannon, Francis. 
Carroll, Francis C. 
Connell, S. C. 
Com. ell, Jas. H. 
Chapman, A. H. 
Chapman, Wm. 
Chapman, Peter. 



Cochrane, A. J., d. 
Cochrane, David. 
Costener, Jacob. 
Carter, Jas. 
Kanip, John. 
Kanip, Henry, 
Cannon, Wm. S., c. 
Canipe, Hardy. 
Causnet, Martin L. 
Cathart, John, d. 
Crane. Madison C. 
Crane, Wm. 
Cannell, Jas H. 
Chalkley ,W. P. 
Christenbery, A. B., d. 
Doyle, Bernard. 
Dunlap, Sam'l N. 
Dobbin, Mark H. 
David, G. K. 
Ellington, Werley P. 
Farley, A. 
Finley, Hugh. 
Fite. Sam'l. 
Fite, J. C. 
Fite, Robt. D. R. 
Fox, W. T. 
Taunt, Sam'l. 
Taunt. D. L. 
Taney, John. 
Freeman, Wade. 
Freeman, Theodore, k. 
Dawns, Robt. R., d. 
Fullbright, J. K. 
Fullbright, D. B., d. 
Fullbright, M., k. 
Fullbright, K. 
Fite, Sam'l., d. 
Flowers, Jessie, deserted. 
Fowler, John, deserted. 
Goodman, John. 
Maxwell, d. 
Markcus, d. 
Peeler John. 
Reding, James. 
Wilson. John. 
Grigg, B. W. 
Grier, W. M. 
Grier, Marshal, w. and d. 
Grier, C. E. 
Heavener, J. J. 
Hoover, T. H. 
Hoover, J. D. 
Hoover, W. G. 
Hoover, W. H. 
Hoover, T. J. 
Howell, Joseph. 
Hinkle, J. L. 
Hawkins, J. A. 
Hawkins, J. P. 
Hawkins, Albert. 
Herrvell, R. 
Hoyle, D. R. 
Hunter, R. B. 



34Q 



HISTORY OF 



Johnson, Daniel. 
Johnson, R. L. 
Johnson, Joseph. 

Johnson, David. 

Jenkins, Tillman, k. 

Jenkins, Aaron. 

Jenkins, Sam'l. 

Jenkins, Edward. 

Kaloram, Thos., w. 

Knuipe, Henry. 

Knuipe, Peter. 

Knuipe, Andrew. 

Kerr, J. H. 

Kerr, J. B. 

Kerr, S. W. 

Kerr, R. F. 

Dattimer, A. M. 

Lane, J. D., killed. 

Laughlin, D. P. 

Ledford, John. 

Lindsey, W. G. 

Lamb, Mike, deserted. 

Dawler, John, deserted. 

Lineburger, J. M. 

Lawing, A. W. 

Lawing, J. W. 

Marrable, W. M. 

Meaghim, W. H. 

Marshal, Jas. H. 

McDuffy, John, k. 

McCausland, W. B. 

McCorkle, Robt. 
- McKinney, Sam'l. 

Moad, John. 
-Murphy, Daniel C. 

Motz, Mayfield. 

Morris, W. C, w. 

Needham, Thos., d. 

Newton, Robt. 

Nantz. R. E. 

Nantz, Calvin. 

Nantz, R. R. 

Carter, Jas. N. 

Culer. J. A. J. 

Potts, Wm. P. 

Potts. Jas. A. 

Pool, A. W. 

Pool, J. T. 

Parker, Wm. 

Queen, Joseph. 

Queen, Laban. 

Roberts, J. W. 

Rodden, T. B. 

Richards. J. W. 

Scott, Nelson. 

Seagle. G. W. 

Shaw, J. G. 

Shaw. Wm. 

Shelby, J. M. 

Sloan, J. W. 

Sloan, Sam'l., k. 

Sloan, Robt.. d. 

Sloan, Robt., w. 



Smith, J. A. 

Smith, Jacob. 

Smith, George. 

Smith. W. M. 

Stamy, John, d. 

Stillwell, Jacob, d. 

Stutts, J. J., c. 

Stout, S. G. 

Summerville, J. W. 

Tallent, Daniel. 

Terepaugh, J. H. 

Todd, Wm. 

TO'wery, A. J. 

Towery, Jack, k. 

Underwood, J. S. 

Underwood, J. O. 

Underwood, Jas. 

Underwood, Reuben* 

Underwood, J. R. 

Underwood, David. 

Veno, Francis. 

Watts, C. L. 

Watt, Charles B. 

Walls, A. A. 

Wallace. Wm. 

White, D. W. 

White, A. S. 

West, Wm. F. 

Wilson, John, transferred. 

Will, John, 

White. Wm. 

Delling, Mike. 
, ..Cannady, Peter. 

John, Weren. 

O'Doniho, Mike. 

Cotter, John. 
— .. Quin, Thos I. 
_ — Mahony, Dennis. 

Forester. Ned. 

Hunt, Robt. 
Whalen, Martin. 

Hinkle, Jas., k. 

Moffitt Eli. d. 

Moffitt, Wm., d 

Moffitt, Samuel. 

Moffitt, Henry. 

Blalock, D. O. 
McCaffry, Hugh. 

Cidny Connell. 

Warren John. 

Ormeby. 
^-McGilbry, J. A. 
Heart, Yergin. 

Ingrim, S. A. 

Queen Meredith. 

Stamie, Wm. 
Towy, Jackson. 
Towry, I. A. 
Tutts, John. 
William, Wallace. 
"*■- McDuffie, W. S. 

Armstrong, Mathew. 
Veno, George. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



341 



H&llet, Moses. 
Crowley, Jerry. 

Company A. Eleventh North 
Carolina Regiment. 

Officers. 

E. A. Ross, captain, P. Major, k. 

"W. L,. Hand, 1st lieut., w. 

C W. Alexander, 2nd lieut., re- 
tired. 

R. H. Hand, lieut.. w. 

W. B. T'avlor, lieut., w. 

J. G. McOorkle, O. S., P. lieut., 
Oo. E. 

J. S. McElroy, S., w. 

R. B. Alexander, S., w., 

J. M. Sims, Q. M. S., C. 

T. W. Neely, S., w. 

T. C. Ruddock, corporal, c. 

W. S. Kehower, corporal, k. 

J. R. Gribble, corporal, w. 

E. Lewis, corporal, w. 

Privates. 

Alexander, M. R.. w. 

McAlexander, M., k. 

Alexander, M A. ., k. 

Alexander, J. G., k. 

Alexander. W. S. 

Alexander, R. C. 

Alexander, J. N., w. 

Allen, H. W.. w. 

Allen, C. A. 

Allen, L. 

Auten, P. S., k. 

Barnett, E. D. S. 

Barnett, J. P. 

Barnett, J. L.. k. 

Blakely, M. F. 

Blakely, J, J., k. 

Byrum, James. 

Brig-man, C. C., w. 

Black. J. M. 

Black, T. J., w. 

Black, Ezekial. 

Bighorn, J. R., w. 

Big-ham, J. W., w. 

Brown, W. J., P. sergeant, w. 

Creasman, J. 

Cochrane. J. F. 

Campbell, W. H. 

Cheshier, M. E. 

Duckworth, H. D., w. 

Duckworth, J. A. 

Deaton, J. C. 

Dulin, Daniel, w. 

Darnell, Jack, w. 

Eamheardt. J. H., k. 

Earnhardt, J. M., p. to d. s., vr. 

Eamheardt. W. C. 

Eamheardt. S. O. 



Ewing, W. E., w. 

Ewing, G. R., w. 

Elliott, W. A., k. 

Elms, J. P., P. Lt., k. 

Flow, R. H.. w. 

Frazier. I. S. A., w. 

Fisher. J. W. 

Ford, W. C. 

Galoway, J. S., k. 

Gray, W. W. 

Gibson. J. A. 

Glenn, D. P., w. 

Glenn. F. C. 

Glover, Joshua, w. 

Garrison, J. S., k. 

Groves, R. H. 

Goodrum, W. J., k. 

Goodrum, C. H. 

Hill, H. H., w. 

Hill, Milton. 

Hill, Miles, w. 

Hovis, Monroe, w. 

Hand, A. J. 

Henderson, T. P. 

Henderson, T. M. 

Herron, G. T.,w. 

Hutchison, J. H., k. 

Holms, T. L.. k. 

Hunter, T. H. 

Hunter, M. B. 

Hunter. D. P. 

Herron, J. M. 

Hinson, G. T., k. 

Howard. T. M. 

Hobbs, F., w. 

Harris, W. C. 

Harris, N. O., w. 

Hutsneth. L. 

Johnson, Alfred. 

Johnson, T. N., w. 

Jenkins, David, w. 

Jenkins, Jacob. 

Kerns. J. D. 

Kenedy, Wm., w. 

Knipper, Thos. 

Kins, J. A. 

King. C. C, w. 

Kinnev, B. 

Monteith, R. J. 

Monteith. H. L. D. 

Monteith. M. O., k. 

McCon iell, J. H., w. 

McConnell. J. F., k. 

McConnell. T. Y. 

McWhirter, J. H., w. 

McWhirter, Jas., k. 

McGinn, R. F. 

McCall. J. A., w. 

Montgomery, J. H., P. Lt, w. 

McGinnis, S. A., w. 

Norment. Isaac, w. 

Norment, Jacob. 

Neal. G. A- k. 



34-' 



HISTORY OF 



Newell, A, H. 
Orr. J. F. 
Orr. N. C. N. 
Orman, J. E. 
Powell, Dan. k. 
Pettus, H. M. 
Pettus. J. W. 
Pettus Stephens. 
Paysour, C, w. 
Paysour, Peter. 
Prim, T. A., k. 
Query, R. L. 
Query, S. P. 
Ruddock, B. "W., w. 
Ruddock, B. M. 
Roberts, Peyton, w. 
Rabon, M. B. 
Ross, R. A. 
Ratchford, E. C. 
Stowe, J. M., w. 
Stowe, J. C, k. 
Simpson, R. F. 
Simpson, J. W. 
Smith, J. S., k. 
Taylor, R. C. C. 
Taylor, H. S. 
Taylor, J. Q., k. 
Thompson, J. C. 
Wingate, Angus, k. 
Wingate, M. 
Wingate, C. C. 
Wallace W. A., w. 
Williams, S. H. 
Wright, Taylor, w. 
Withers, B. A., w. 
West. J. "L. 
Wilson. W. M. 
Steele, J., k. 
Blgham, J. H., w. 
Hunter, A. J. 

Summary. 

Killed, 29; wounded. 43; Com- 
pany A, 11th W. C. Regt., 
total in Co., 154. 

Company E, Eleventh Regiment 
N. C. Regiment. 

Officers. 

Nichols, J. S. A., captain, d. 
Kerr, Wm. J., captain. 
Clanton. J. B., lieut. 
Turner, W. S.. lieut. 
Means, W. N. S., lieut k. 
Roszzell, W. F., lieut. 
Alexander, Jas. F., lieut. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

McDonald, D. W., w. 
Means, J. S., d. 
Goodman. J. E., k. 



McDonald, J. H. 
Wilson, R. S., d. 
Hunter, A. J., sergt. 

Privates. 

Abernathy, E. R. 

Alexander. Peter. 

Auten, S. W. 

Ashley, M. 

Adams, H. A. 

Baker, Aaron, 

Baker, Wm. M. 

Ballard, Benj. 

Bradshaw, J. T. 

Beal, Charles, c. 

Beal, John.c. 

Bird, W. L., w. and pr. 

Bass Jas. A., w. 

Bass, Buston, c. 

Beek. Wm. A. 

Baker, Joel M. 

Bradly, J. L., c 

Beatty, J. W., c. 

Bunier, J., w. 

Christy, J. H., k. 

Clark, J. A., k. 

Cathey, W., w. and pa". 

Oarmick, J. 

Campbell, J. W., c. 

Culberson, J. W., c. 

Clemmons. R. R. 

Denton, John. 

Dixon, W. W., k. 

Edwards, Sheperd. 

Edwards, Marshal, c. 

Eller. A. 

Eller, S. W. 

Finger, John., w. 

Grier, T. H. 

Garrison, Aiex.,c. 

Hartline, Andrew. 

Hartline, Adam. 

Harris. C. C. 

Holdsllaw R. 

Hinton, A. J. 

Hollingsworth, J. B. 

Hartgrue, W. W., w. 

Hartgrue. R. D. S., w. aind e. 

Hill, J. W., w. 

Helms, E. T., k. 

Hartline, P., w. 

Hartline, D. L.., w. 

Hartline, G. H., d. 

Jamerson, J. W., c. 

Jameson, T. J., w. 

Jameson, J. W., c. 

Johnston. J. H., c. 

Kyles, Fielding, c. 

Kvles, Wm. 

King. G. 

Kestler. P. H. 

Kyle, John. 

Ledwell, David. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



343 



Lineberger, Marshall. 
Lawson, Hudson. 
Loften, Martin. 
Lambert, Wm. 
Lewis, Linsey, w. 
Lambert, J. M. 
McQuay, S., d. 
McQuay, W. H., k. 
McLure, C. A., w. and c 
McOorkle, H. P., c 
Mitcha, John.c. 
Martin, W., w. 
Murdock, W. D. 
Miller, J. F. 
McLure, J., d. 
Madden, G. W» 
Munday, O. M. 
Mathison, Jas. 
Narson, J. G., c. 
Null. J. T. 
Nesbitt, J. G., d. 
Neal, G. A., w. and c 
Ostwald, Francis, c. 
Puckett, T. J., w. 
Puckett, W. C, w. 
Pool, G. S. 
Pennix, J. W. 
Pennix, J. A. 
Reid, J. C. k. 
Rives, J. R. 
Rhvne Dp vid, c. 
Ruis. W. R., w. 
Richley, W. L., k. 
Rozzell, J. T. 
Stone. A. 
Stinson, J. B. 
Sherrell, W. 
Smth. D. J. 
Griffin, G., d. 
Turner, J. "W. 
"Wilson, J. R. 
"Walker, B., k. 
Walker, L. L., c. 
Walker, J. H., c. 
Walker. Jas. H. 
Win grate, J., w. and c. 
Wing-ate, T., w. 
Williamson, E. T., c. 
Younts, R. C., k. 
York. G. W., c. 

Company H, Eleventh Regiment 

N. C. Troops. 
Officers. 

Grier, W. L., captain. 

Lowrie, P. J., lieut., d. 

Boyce, C. B., d. 

Lowrie, J. B., k. 

SavJlle, J. M. 

Knox, J. M. 

Lowrie, R. B. 



N on-Commissioned Officers. 

Saville, R. D., w. 
Clark, P. M.. w. 
Caldwell, J. S. P. 
Bell, C. E. 

Hotchkip, Aug., c 
Campbell, Thos., k. 
Smith, J. T. 

Privates. 

Abernathy, Elig. 
Ashby, J. T. 
Alexander, J. A. 
Andrews, E. M. 
Ashley, Wm., c. 
Bailley, Wm. 
Brown, A. M. 
Belk, Wm. 
Boyd, J. J. 
Royd, J. A. 
Boyd, David. 
Brown, J. W. 
Blair, S. W, 
Black, J. B. 
Bigart, Jas. 
Barns, Robt. 
Bryant, Sidney. 
Boyce, Hugh. 
Blankenship, J. N. 
Blankenship, T. G. 
Blankenship, S. P. 
Caruthers, J. A. 
Caruthers, J. B., d. 
Chantenberg, C. E., d. 
Coffe, B. M., w. 
Cooper, J. M., c. 
Crowel, E. M. 
Campbell, J. C. 
Cobb, C A. 
Clark, W. A., d. 
Carpenter, J. C. 
Carpenter, W. B. 
Cox, Eli. 
Clark, P. M. 
Drewry, A. G. 
Deggarhart, J. V., c. 

Deggarbart, J. L. 
Dallarhit, J. D., d. 
Dixon, Hugh M, d. 
Ettres, J. H., d. 
Edwards, J. M., c. 
Ellis, Dan, c. 
Earnhardt, Geo. 
Fite, W. J. 
Greer, Z. B., d. 
Greer, E. S. 
Harris, R. H. 
Hall. R. B. 
Harris, F. C, w. 
Harris, J. C. 
Harris, J. H. 



344 



HISTORY OF 



Hannel, A. R., k. 
Harmon, Levi, c. 
Harmon, J. N. 
Hays, J. B., c. 
Hargett, Aleg. 
Herron, J. W. 
Hill, C. H. 
Humphrey, T. L. 
Haron, S. L., c. 
Hanna, J. W., c. 
Hatchup, A., c. 
Hall, N. C. 
Henry, J. B. 
Henry, B. G. 
Hedgepath, Geo. 
Harris, Morris. 
Holland, Root. 
Hainant, Henry, w. 
Hoffman, Miles. 
Henderson, W. R. 
Ingle, Peter, w. 
Johnson, J. W. 
King, J. A. 
Keenan, Peter. 
Key, Albert, w. 
Kerr, R. O., d. 
Knox, W. H, w. and c. 
Kilp'a trick, W. F. 
Lowrie, R. B. 
Madden, J. P. 
McQuaig, James. 
Mincel. Willis, w. 
Morrison, W. T. 
McMillan, J. E. 
McOiiiMse, Jas., c. 
Marshburn, J. M.,w. 
Neely, J. J. 
Porter, R. C, w. 
Price, J. A., d. 
Peppen, John. 
Russell, J. C. 
Rice, J. S. 
Rhine, A. M. 
Rachelle, J. B. 
Reid, W. M. 
Rumell, J. C. 
Ross, R. A., d. 
Smith,. J. W. 
Smith, T. J. 
Smith, John L. 
Smith, A. J. 
Sloop, Alex. 
Snider, J. A., k. 
Snead, Frank. 
Squire, J. A. 
Sanders, Jacob. 
Sumney, J. B. 
Sumney, George, c. 
Scott, R. S. 
Turbineld. Jas. 
Tggart. J. C. 
Thuner, E. A., w. 
Thuner, J. T.,w. 
Watt, C. B. 



Win gate, R. J. 
Wilkerson, W. H. 
Wilkerson, Jno. 
Warren, T. W., c. 
Walker, P. L., w. 
Watters, Allen. 
Young, J. H., d. 

Total, 137; No. killed 4; wound- 
ed 14. 

Company B, Thirteenth Regi= 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

Erwin, A. A., captain, w. 
Robinson, W. W., captain, vr. 
McLean, J. D., lieut. 
Erwin, J. R., lieut. 
Thompson, Joe,, lieut., k. 
Warren, R. S., lieut., k. 
Presley, W. A., lieut. 
Alexander, W. S., lieut. 
Hart, W. S., lieut., d. 
Smith, E., lieut. 
Walker, H. J., lieut., w. 
Choat, J. M. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

Youngblood, F. C, d. 
Erwin, F. L. 
Todd, J. W. 
Swann, R. L., It 
Knox, J. M., k. 
Wingate, Jas. R., k. 
Knox, Jas. F., w. 

Privates. 

Alexander, Oswald. 
Alexander, H. C, k. 
Alexander, Ossil. 
Alexander, O. S. P., k. 
Alexander, W. W. 
Alexander, M. C. 
Alchison, J. C, d. 
Adiar, Thos. 
Adiar, Wm. 
Brown, Jas. W. 
Bailes, G.S., d. 
Baker, Green C, k. 
Baker, J. C. 
Bartlette.W. F., w. 
Berryhill, J. J. 
Berryhill, Jas. L., d. 
Blaekwelder, A., w. 
Bowden, S. D., deserted. 
Boyd, Jepe A. 
Boyd, John, d. 
Boyd, J. G. W., w. and d. 
Brimer, Alfred, k. 
Brown, C. W., k. 
Brown, R. E. 
Bryan, T. J. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



345 



Bigham, M. S. 
Beeman, G. C. 
Barnett, R. S. 
Bartlett, J. H., w. 
Clark, A. A., d. 
Crawford, Mieajah. 
Carnthens, J. K. 
Cathey, Henry, w. 
Chioate, A. D., -k. 
Choate, R. W., w. 
Choate, Wm., w. 
Clanton, W. D. 
Clark, R. F., d. 
Crowell, S. W., c. 
Damall, J. J. 
Davis, J. C. 
Edwards, M. A., w. 
Erwin, A. R. 
Erwin, J. C., d. 
Erwin, J. M., w. 
Ellis, Wm. 
Frazier, Richard. 
Frazier, W. F. 
Frazier, Isaiac A. 
Frazier, J. T. 
Frenekin, J. B., d. 
Freeman, W. H., w. 
Gallant, J. A., w. 
Glover, T. M., d. 
Grier, E. C. 
Grier, S. M., k. 
Grier, Thos. M. 
Groves, J. R., c. 
Garner, Wm. 
Hail, W. H. 
Heitman, O. B. 
Hawkins, J. P. 
Hall. W. H., w. 
Hawkins, F. A., w. 
Hotchkip. S. A. 
Hill, W. H. 
Jamison, E. A. 
Johnston, H. F. 
Kerr, John B., w. 
Kimball, J. L., k. 
Kirkpatrirk, J. F., w. 
Knox, J. D. 
Knox, J. N.. k. 
Knox, T. N. 
Kerr, J .T. 
Lee, D. P. 
Liberman, C. S., k. 
Marks, S. H., w. 
Marks, T. H. 
McGinn, T. H., w. and c. 
McGinn, N. C, w and c. 
McGinn, W. A., w. 
McOinn, J. N. 
McLean. J. L. 
McRnmb, S. W. 
McRnmb. S. J. S., k. 
Mulwpe, J. W. 
Morrison. J. E., d. 
Mospr H. S., k. 



Maness, J. A. 
McConnell, Jas. H. 
Neagle, Jas. H., w. and c. 
Nicholson, J. R. 
Nevins, J. G., w. 
Orr, G. B., k. 
Okley, C., w. 
Parks, D. K. 
Parks, G. L., d. 
Porter, S. A. 
Prattler, E. L., k. 
Powell, A. T. 
Prag, W. J. 
Parker, S. S., d. 
Reed, J. W. 
Sterling, J. W. 
Sheffield, J. M. 
Sloan, G. W., w. 
Smith. D. H. 
Smith, Ed. 
Smith, J. W. 
Sturgan, C. S , w 
Spencer, Clark. 
Stowe, R. A. 
Torrence, W. B. 
Taylor, W. J., w. 
Thomburg, F. B., k. 
Thomburg, G. J. 
Thomburer, H. M. 
Thomburg, S. L., d. 
Ticer. R. C. S., k. 
'Tradewice. N. P. , 

Thompson, W. J. 
Todd, J. A. W., d. 
Taylor, A. A. 
Walker, L. J., w. 
White. Wm. 
Wilson, J. E., k. 
Wingate, N. J., w. 
Wolfer, H. F., w. 
Wryfield, J. R., w. and d. 
Wiley, J. C. 
Watt. W. T. 
Weaver. G. H. 

Total, 152; killed, 20; wound- 
ed, 32. 

Company K, Thirtieth Regiment 
N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

J. T. Kell, captain, w. 

B. F. Morrow, captain. 

J. G. Witherspoon. captain, k. 
W. E. Ardrey, captain, w. 

C. E. Bell, lieut. 
N. D. Orr, lieut. 

J. T. Downs, lieut., w. 

JV 'on-Commissioned Officers. 

J. T. Lee, sergt., k. 
A. L. DeArmond, w. 
A. B. Hood, sergt., k. 



346 



HISTORY OF 



J. W. McKinney, corporal. 
J. P. Bales, corporal. 
H. T. Cotlharp, corporal. 
A. J. Dunn, corporal, k. 

Privates. 

Adkins, W. H., w. 
Adams, Wm. 
Alexander, S. D., \v. 
Alexander, T. P. 
Alexander, J. L. 
Alexander, J. M., k. 
Allen, J. W., d. 
Anderson, Wm., d. 
Baker, J., k. 
Bailey, E. D. 
Bailey, J. A. 
Bailey, Wm. 
Bales, E. M., w. 
Bales, J. P. 
Barnett, R. C, k. 
Barefoot N. G., w. 
Bentley, M. W. H. 
Bell, N. J. 
Black, J. N., k. 
Black. J. S., d. 
Black, J. H., k. 
Black, T. A., d. 
Bradston, V. M. 
Brewer, J. H. 
Bowman, R. 
Boyce, S. T. 
Brinkley, H. 
Bristow. J. C. 
Church, Eli. 
Church, Martin. 
Coffey, A. S. 
Crowell, Isreal. 
Culp, A. A., w. 
Davis, G. W., k. 
Downs, W. H. 
Dixon. S. L., w. 
Duckworth, G. P. 
Dunn, Geo., c. 
Dunn, A. S. 
Dunn, S. W. T., d. 
Ezzell, M. F., d. 
Gamble, Jas., d. 
George, E. P. 
Giorge, Prepley, d. 
Glover, B. C, w. 
Griffin, J. J., w. and d. 
Grifith, A. E., k. 
Graham, J. W. 
Hall, J. F. 
Hall, A. G. 
Hall, R. B. 
Harts, J. H., d. 
Harts, W. S., k. 
Henderson. W. M., d. 
Henderson, W. T., d. 
Hood, W. L., w. 
Howie, J. H. 
Howie, Wm. 



Holmes, B., d. 
Jennings, G. W., w. 
Johnston, D. E. 
Johnston, S. A 
Johnston, J. H. 
Johnston, G. W. 
Kirkpatrick, H. T., d. 
Lee, S. B., d. 
Dee, J. A., d. 
Lewis, W. H. 
Massingale, R. H. 
McLean, Thos., w. 
McCurry, J. A. 
McKinney, R. M. 
McMallen, J. H., k. 
McQuaig, J. 
Miller, D. M., w. 
McRea, James, k. 
Milton, J. G 
Morris, W. T., d. 
Morris, J. T., d. 
M ,T ers, James. 
Nichols. B. G. 
Nelson, J. H. 
Orr, T. J. 
Patterson, M. S. 
Pierce, Orren L. 
Pierce, J. M. 
Pierce, J. W. 
Pierce, J. R., d. 
Rayner, L., k. 
Ray, J. M., k 
Richardson, W. W. 
Robinson, W. H., m. 
Rotinson, J. R., k. 
Ross. W. J. 
Ross, J. N., k. 
Russell, W. D. 
Saville, J. C. 
Sample, Wm. 
Shelby, D. H. 
Simmons, — 
Smith, \V. S. 
Smith, S. B., d. 
Smith, J. D. 
Smith, J. S., w. 
Shaw, Alex. 
Simpson, M. S. 
Simpson, J. 
Squires, J. W. 
Squires, J. P., k. 
Stanford, M. T. 
Stancil, A. G. 
Steel, A. F., k. 
Stephenson, J. R., k. 
Tart, Henry. 
Tedder, Sid., k. 
Thoniasson, J. L., k. 
Thomas, W. B. 
Thompson, L. 
Thompson, Lewis. 
Thompson, Lee. d. 
Thompson, Jas., d. 
Trower. T. J. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



347 



Walston, S. L., d. 
Webb, Wm., d. 
West, Wm. 
Weeks, R. B., k. 
Witherspoon, M. T., k. 
Wolf, J. N. 
Wolf, R. B. 
Wolf, G. D., d. 
Williams, W. E. 
Yeargan. W. 
Young, S. T. 
Youth, J. A. 

Total No. 150: killed 25; wound- 
ed 16; died 23. 

Company Q, Thirty=Fourth Reg- 
iment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

W. R. Myers, captain. 

G. M. Norment, captain, w. 

J. M. Dawing, lieut. 

A. A. Cathey, lieut. 

A. H. Oreswell, lieut. 

R. S. Reed, lieut., k. 

Jas. C. Todd, captain, w. 

J. N. Abernethy, k. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

Lucas, H. C, sergt. 

Joe B. McGhte, sergt. 

J. L. Todd, ordinance sergt 

J. W. Davenport, corporal., k. 

Geo. L. Campbell, corporal, k. 

Jas. A. Todd, corporal, k. 

T. A. Johnston, w. 

Privates. 

Alcorn, A. S., w. 
Alexander, J. O. D., k. 
Abernethy, C. W., w. 
Abernethy, J. N., k. 
Anderson. C. J., k. 
Asbury, J. R., w. 
Bain, J. J., d. 
Beatty, A. W., w. 
Beatty, Samuel, d. 
Beatty, John, w. 
Bennett, Thos., w. 
Berryhill, J. U., w. 
Bailliff, Fred. k. 
Brotherton, John, w. 
Brotherton, Wm. 
Burgwyn, Fred. 
Bolton, J. C. 
Cathey, J. L., w. 
Cathey, W. H., d. 
Clark, John, k. 
Cathey, Wm. A. 
Clark, Almirive. k. 
Cox, W. C. L., w. 
Carpenter, Jas., k. 



Downs, Frank. 
Duan, T. J., w. 
Duglass, S. A. 
Elliott, H. W., k. 
Etters, P. P., d. 
Erving, John. 
Faires, G. N., d. 
Frazier, I. A. 
Garren, Andrew. 
Gregg. D. H., d. 
Greenhill, Lawson, k. 
Hayes, S. L., k. 
Ho vis, Moses, w. 
Hipp, Andrew, d. 
Hipp, Pinkney, d. 
Hipp, John, d. 
Hipp, Wm. 
Hipp, J. M. 
Hoover, A. B., w. 
Hutchison, S, B. 
Johnston, D. H., d. 
Johnston. F. E., k. 
Jarrett, Sanui'el, k 
King, Thos., w. 
Dawing, J. S., w. 
King, Ezekiel. 
Lawing, J. M., d. 
Lynch, Robt. 
McGee, T. J. 
Mills, W. T. 
McGhee, J. T., d. 
McCord, W. C, w. 
Means, G. W., d. 
Means, J. K. P., k. 
McCall, Jas., w. 
McCall, Alex., c. 
McGahey, T. C. 
Nicholson, John. 
Odell, J. C, d. 
Odell, G. W., d. 
Puckett, J. H., d. 
Parks, George, w. 
Pickerell, J. H., w. 
Phillips, J. J., k. 
Proctor, J. A., m. 
Rodden, J. J., w. 
Reid, Robt. S., w. and d. 
Rosick, G. W. 
Scott, W. A., k. 
Shelby, J. L., k. 
Stephens, A. B., d. 
Stephens, R. T., w. and d. 
Sanfnrd, J. M., k. 
Sanford, Jas. O. 
Terres, James, w. 
Todd. G. F., k. 
Todd, G. N., k. 
Todd, C. B., w. 
Todd, G. C, w. 
Todd, J. L., k. 
Todd, J. W. S. 
Todd, D. S. 
Todd, L. N. 
Watters, J. G., c. 



348 



HISTORY OF 



Winston. C. W. 
Total, 100; killed, 
ed, 32. 



2G; wound- 



Company H, Thirty-Fifth Regi- 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Maxwell, D. G., captain. 

Dixon, H. M., captain. 

Davis, J. M., captain. 

Alexander, Thos. M.. captain, d. 

Alexander, J. G., lieut. 

Alexander, J. K., w. 

Alexander, Leander. 

Alexander, C. F. 

Alexander, A. P., k. 

Alexander, S. W. 

Alexander, G. W. 

Auten, J. W., d. 

Barckley, A C. 

Barckley, H. S. 

Brown, J. F. 

Brown, J. F., c. 

Brown. S. H., w. 

Benfield, H. S. 

Benfield, J. R. 

Blount. J. M. 

Blakely, W. J., w. 

Blakely, A. C, w. 

Burgwvn, W. H. S., lieut. 

Benf.eld, B. E., c. 

Baker. J. R., lieut. 

Biggers, W. A. 

Beaver, J. M. 

Chesire, C. M., d. 

Cook, R. W., d. 

Cook, J. P., k. 

Caldwell, G. M., sergt., w. 

Caldwell. H. W., k. 

Caldwell, J. M., d. 

Caldwell, R. N. 

Caldwell, D. G., d. 

Caldwell, D. P., d. 

Caldwell. D. A., lieut. 

Campbell, W. H., k. 

Cochrane, R. B. 

Cochrane, N. R.J., c. 

Cochrane, I.. J., d. 

Campbell, C. M., c. 

Cochrane, J. L., sergt. 

Cochrane. W. C, sergt., k. 

Deaton. L. L.j k. 

Dulin, D. H., c. 

Dulin. John, .sergt., k. 

Dulin, R. H., d. 

Dulin, J. C, d. 

Dulin. T. L. 

Dulin, Matthias, d. 

Dulin, W. W., k. 

Davis. W. H. 

Dennis, J. T. 

Earnhardt. C. D., d. 

Earnhardt, S. O. 

Farris, M. C, w. 



Fesperman, W. M., d. 
Foard, J. C, k. 
Foard, C. A. 
Foard, Henry. 
Flow, T. J. 
Garrison, R. W., w. 
Garrison, J, W., w. 
Gibson, J. M., k. 
Grier, J. O., w. 
Hodges, P. B. 
Hodges, C. J. 
Hodges, W. G. 
Howie, S E., w. 
Hunter, G. S., w. 
Hunter, Hugh 
Hunter, A. G„ w. 
Hunter, J. M 
Hunter, J. M. C, w. 
Hunter, Hester, k. 
Hunter, J. M. C. 
Hunt.-r, R. C, d. 
Hunter, S. C, lieut., w. 
Hunter, R. H. 
Hutchison, J. R., corporal 
Hall, T. M. 
Hall, Amriz. 
Hooks, Dave. 
Hood. J. M. 
Hood, W. S., k. 
Hood. J. R. 
Hucks, D. W. 
Hucks, John. 
Harris, G. W., k. 
Harris. F. R.. k. 
Herron, Calvin. 
Herron, Gr?en, w. 
Herron, John. 
Houston, G. W., d. 
Irwin, G. C. d. 
Johnston. J. J. 
Jordan, Mc. H. 
Kirk, Wm., k 
Kirk. J. C, w. 
Keenan, John, w. 
Kilough, E d. 
Kerns, T. M. A., d. 
McCornbs, Jas. 
'Mason, J. J., w. 
Mason. R. C, d. 
McCall. C. N. 
MrCall, D. H. 
McCall, R. W., d. 
McCall, Jcsiah F., k. 
McGinnis, J. J. 
MeGinnis. T. M. 
McGinnis, J. P. 
McLean. H. W., d. 
McLure, James 
McLaughlin, W. J., w. 
McLaughlin, J. J., w. 
McKay, Robt. W., w. 
Miller. H. M. W., d. 
Miller, J. M., k. 
Miller, S. J., d. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



349 



Montgomery, Leander. 
Montgomery, J. P. C. f d. 
Morris, W. G., sergt., d. 
Morris, D. W. 
McCorkle, T. J., d. 
Maxwell, W. M. 
Morrison, S. N. 
Morrison, D. M. 
Morrison, Marshall. 
McCewon, J. M. 
Moiris, J. C. k. 
McDonnell. T. M. 
Neal, W. B. 
Noles, John, k. 
Newell, D. S. 
Nelson, R. A. 
Nelson, T. J. 
Osbcrne, Harvey, d. 
Orr, Franklin, d. 
Petre, Wm. 
Pu< kett, S J. 
Puckett, J. W., k. 
Puckett, F. M. 
Fharr, T F. 
Query, Wm. W., d. 
Query, Leander, sergt., w. 
Query, F. E. 
Query, F. N. 
Rodgers, J. R., k. 
Rogers, T. P. 
Rodgers, J. W. 
Roday, T. A., d. 
Rankin, C. rf., k. 
Rankin, W. W., w. 
Russ, W. A. 
Roberts, S. L. 
Roberts, W. A., w. 
Roberts, J. L., k. 
Ramsey, J. F. 
Rice, J. W., w. 
Rea, James, w. 
Stuart. A. H. 
Shaffer, J. S., w. 
Shaffer, W. H., w. 
Solomon, Wm. R. 
Solomon. D. A., d. 
Stinson, Dave, d. 
Thompson, J. W. 
Taylor, J. M., d. 
Taylor. W. J. 
Taylor, W. H. 
Tarlton, James D., w. 
Wilson, M. A., w. 
Wilson, R. L., d. 
Wilson, T. J., w. 
White, K. F. 

White, James. A., lieut, 4. 
Wondall, Thns., w. 
Wallace, A. W., k. 
Wilson, M. N., w. 
Tandle, M. N. 

Total 181- 24 killed: 35 wound- 
ed; 5 captured; 33 died. 



Company C, Thirty- Seventh 
Regiment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

J. M. Potts, captain. 

O. N. Brown, captain, k. 

Jj. A. Potts, captain, w. 

J. D. Brown, captain. 

T. A. Wilson, lieut., d. 

T. J. Kerns, lieut. 

J. S. Johnston, lieut. 

J. L. Jetton, lieut. 

G. H. Beattie, lieut., k. 

J. W. Pettus, lieut., w. 

A. P. Torrance, lieut., w. 

B. A. Johnston, lieut., k. 
W. W. Doherty, lieut., k. 
J. R. Gillespie, lieut. 

J. B. Alexander, surgeon. 
G. M. Wilson, sergt. k. 
J. A. Gibbs, sergt., k. 
D. H. Fidler, corporal, d. 
J. A. Bell, corporal, d. 

Privates. 

Armstrong, M., w. 
Alexander, J. H. 
Alexander, D. R., k. 
Alexander, T. L. 
Alexander, T. R., w. 
Alexander, W. D. 
Alexander, W., d. 
Armor, T. S., \v. 
Alcorn, T. P., d. 
Bell, J. D., d. 
Baritt, W. R., d. 
Barnett, J. D. 
Barnett, J. W. 
Beard, Joseph, d. 
Beard, J. C., w. 
Beard, J. M., k. 
Beard, J. F. M. 
Black, A J. L., k. 
Black, J. C 
Black, W. A., d. 
Black, S., d. 
Blakely, J. B., d. 
Blnkeiy, W. F. M., d. 
Blythe, J. W. 
Boyler, J. H. 
Brady, R. A., d. 
Brown, B. F. 
Brown, H. W., k. 
Brown, J., d. 
Britt. John. 
Burleyson, Benj., w. 
Carrigan, W. F. 
Cathey, J. W. 
Caldwell. W. W., c. 
Carpenter, J., c. 
Carpenter, J C, w. 
Cochrane, J. C, w. 



35° 



HISTORY OF 



Cox, Thomas, d. 
Chrestainbury, S. D., w. 
DelUnger, W. 
Derr, A J., lost a leg. 
Deaton, J. Z. 
Fesperman, J. C, d. 
Gardner, H. T., d. 
Gibbs, Jack, d. 
Gibson, J. J., d. 
Gibson, T. A., w. 
Goodrum, Zeb, d. 
Goodnim, J. W., c 
Gardener, D., k. 
Gardener. S. S. 
Grier, J. S., k. 
Harrison, W. H. 
Hastings, W. C. 
Henderson, W. F., k. 
Hendrix, J. M., w. 
Hendrix, W. P., d 
Holbrooks, R. S. 
Hucks, S. L., w 
Hunter, H. C., c. and d. 
Hunter, J. F., k. 
Hagons, H. M., k. 
Hamilton, J. R., k. 
Houston, H. L., d. 
Houston, J. M. 
Howie, A. J., w. 
Jenkins, A. B. 
Johnston, M. F., d. 
Jamison, J. R. 
Kelley, A. A., w. 
Kerns, J. A., d. 
Kerns, T. J. 
Knox, S. W., w. 
Lentz, R. R. 
Little S. S. 
Luckey, T. S., d. 
Leach. L., d. 
McAllister, C, w. 
McAulev H. E., d. 
McAuley, A. E. 
McCoy, Albert. 
McCoy, J. F., k. 
McCoy, C. W. 
McFadden, John, c. 
Miller, R. C, c. 
Monteith, R. A., k. 
Moore, R. D., d. 
McAuley, D. N., d. 
Morrison, W. S. 
Nantz, C. R., d. 
Nantz, D. J., w. 
Page, J. F., d. 
Puckett, E. M., w. 
Reid, J. L.. d 
Rhyne. J. J., d. 
Routers, John, d. 
Sample, J. W., k. 
Samnlp W. L., k. 
Sloan, T. A. 
Sloan, T. C. 
Stearns, A. L., d. 



Stearns, W. R. 
Stuart, S. J., w. 
Sellers, Eli. 
Solomon, D. A., k. 
Stroup, C. 
Stroup, M., k. 
Sample, E. A. 
Shaver. M., k. 
Shaw, A. 
Todd, J. A., k. 
Taylor, W. A., d. 
Tiffins, M. B. 
Torrance, J. A. 
Torrance, H. L. W., k. 
Torrance, W. W., w. 
Tummice, L G. 
Weddington, J. T. 
Wallace, C. S., d. 
Warsham, Alex., k. 
Warsham, F. M., w. 
Warsham, R. R., w. 
Warsham, T. L., k. 
Warsham, W., d. 
White, J. H. 
Wiley, J., k. 
Williams, C. R., d. 
Williams, F. C, d. 
Wilson, T. C, d. 
Wagstaff, J. R. 
"Walker, J. C. 

Total 149; died 37; wounded 
26; killed 27. 

Company I, Thirty-Seventh 
Regiment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

Harrison, J. K., captain. 

McCoy, M. A. 

Hart, M. N., captain. 

Elms, J. I., captain. 

Stitt, Wm. M., w. 

Elms, W. D., captain, w. 

Oats, R. M., quartermaster 

captain. 
Sammond, T. K. 
Rupel, E. H. 
Price J. G. 
Crowell, E. M. 
McCoy, J. G. 
Tandle, A. F., w. 
Wilson, J. 
Elms, J. P., c. 
Icenhour, H. F., k. 
Robinson, D. C, sergt., w. 
Reed, J. C, sergt. 
Alexander, J. O., corp. & sergt. 
Rigler, D. M., lieut., w. 
Adams, Lourie, "vr. 

Privates. 

Adaholt, M. L., w. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



351 



Alexander, A. M., c. 
Alexander, J. A. 
Allen, J. H. 
Austin, J. W., k. 
Ballard, W. H., d. 
Barnhill, J. W. 
Bean, J. T. 
Black, J. P., k. 
Black, S. J. 
Blackard, Jas., k. 
Blankenship, T, E., k. 
Blythe, S. W. 
Bridges, W. A, w. and d. 
Brown, T. G. 
Brown J. K. P., c. 
Bruce, Jas., d. : 

Burns, S. A. 
Brines, J. W. 
Crowell, E. M. 
Carpenter, Levi, c. 
Carpenter, Marcus, c. 
Cathey B. G., w. and d. 
CI irk, J. F., c 
Clark, J. W., k. 
Clark, Jas., k. 
Clontz, Ab., k. 
Crocker, W. J., w. 
Cross, W. D. 
Devine, W. G. 
Dulin, T. S., w. 
Edwards, J. A 
Flanigan, B. P. 
Flowe J. C., w. 
F. eeman, J. J., d. 
Freeman, Mc. C, d. 
Fronebarger, John, k. 
Gates, M. W. 
Gordon, J. P., w. 
Gordon, J. R., c. 
Gurley, W. D., k. 
Hargett, A. J. 
Hall, Jas. 
Hayes Elijah, c. 
Headly, Wm. L., d. 
Henderson, J. W., w. 
Henry, Berry. 
Henry, Terrell. 
Hipp, J. F., w. 
Hipp, L. A., w. 
Hood, H. C, d. 
Hovis, A. J., k. 
Hunsucker, J. W. ( w. 
HIggenson, John, w. 
Hunter, C. L., k. 
Johnston, A. N. 
King, G. W. 
King, Wm., w. 
Harris, N. J. 
Haney, E. H. 
Hunsucker, Wm., w. 
Kissiah, G. W., w. 
Kissiah, T. A 
Kissiah, W. M., w. 
Kistler, G. H., w 



Kaiser, D. W., w. 
Kaiser, T. P., c. 
Kaiser, Solomon, c. 
Kirkley, Thos., d. 
Lawring, David. 
Lawring, P. W., k. 
Looker, J. C. 
Lourie, S. J. 
McGhee, Isaac. 
McCoy, W. L., k. 
Manning, Jas. 
Manning, J. W., w. 
Montgomery, A F. 
Moody, M. D. L. 
Mosters, F. A., d. 
Maxwell, D. S., w. 
M~Call, J. C. 
McCord, D. L. 
McGinn, J. M., w. 
Montgomery, Jas. 
Mooney, Caleb., w. 
Mullis, Coleman, d. 
Mason, Robt. G. 
Nicholson, J. B., w. 
Orr, Joe L., w. 
Orr, J. G. A. 
Orr, C. M. 
Orr, J. L. V., w. 
Orr, W. S. 
Patterson, Eli., k. 
Patterson, J. H., w. 
Paysour, Caleb., c. 
Phillips, J. A., k. 
Rarafield, Frank, c. 
Reid, George, d. 
Robinson, Jas. A., d. 
Robinson, T. C. 
Rudisill, Jacob, w. 
Rumage, L., d. 
Rupel, S. H., d. in p. 
Sharp, R. A., w. 
Sharp, T. A. 
Shaw, D. C, w. 
Shoe, Jacob, w. and c. 
Simpson, C. L., d. 
Simpson, Ira P., c. 
Smith, Franklin. 
Spears, A. J. 
Spears, J. J., k. 
Stearns, Brown, k. 
Stearns, Dulin, 
Stearns, J. M., w. and d. 
Stewart, A. A. 
Stewart, P. J., c. 
Stinson, D. W., d In p. 
Tarsrart, J. S., k. 
Tally, Mike, d. 
Taylor. Chas. 
Taylor, Jepe. 
Oate, D. W. 
Pegram, M. P. 
Charles, I. Voorheii. 
Tally, John, k. 
Todd, R. J. 



352 



HISTORY OF 



Turner, S. R. 
Turner, Wm., d. 
Walker, Robt. 
Whitley, G. M. D. 
Whitley, J. H. 
Williamson, G. W., w. 
Woodall, W. C, c 
Wolf, E. B., k. 
Young. A. J., k. 
Yandle, A. F., w. 
Total 157 men; killed 23; cap- 
tured, 5; wounded 18; died 16. 

Company K, Fifty-Sixth Regi= 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

F. R. Alexander, captain, k. 
J. F. Mc Neely, captain. 
J. A. Wilson, lieut. 
J. W. Shepard, lieut. 
J. W. Spencer, lieut. 
C. M. Payne, lieut. 
J. A. Lowrance, lieut. 
Alex. Livingston, lieut. 

JJ on-Commissioned Officers. 

J. L. Sloan. 
J. C. Faucet. 
J. T. Hotehkiss. 
W. B. Osborne. 
J. J. McNeeley, k. 
J. H. Williams. 

Privates. 

Arney, Henry. 
Alexander, A. H. 
Alexander, J., k. 
Alexander, J. Mc, d. 
Alexander, M. D., d. 
Alexander, R. A. 
Alexander, T. C, w. 
Allison, James. 
Au'en, T. J., w. 
Barnett, A. G., w. 
Barringer, D. A., \r. 
Bell, J. C. 
Benson, R. P., d 
Bingham J. M.. w. 
Black, Wm. M. 
Bradly, J. H. 
Brawley, R. W., w. 
Brown, B. D., w. 
Brown, J. M., w. 
Brown, W. L., w. 
Brown, J. C. 
Burkhead, White.d. 
Beard, J. O., k. 
Carrigan, R. A., d. 
Caldwell, M. E., w. 
Carrigan, Adam. 
Cashion, Frank, w. 



Cashion, Jas., w. 
Cashion, I. W., w. 
Cathcart, J. R., k. 
Christianberry, Allison, w. 
Christianberry, A. H., d. 
Christianberry, Jas. 
Christianberry, R. F. 
Christianberry, Wm. 
Clark, Alex. 
Cork, Walter, c. and d. 
Craven, W. P. 
Cornelius, M. A., w. 
Davis, H. W., k. 
DeArmond, J. A. 
Deweese, Calvin T. 
Deweese, G. B., k. 
Edwards, G. W., k. 
Elms, J. I. 
Emerson, M. H. 
Faucet, J. C, d. 
Fouts, J. M., k. 
Garner, Henry. 
Heldt, Enoch. 
Hill, Jas. R. L. 
Hunter, H. S., d. 
Hux, John, d. 
Hux, W., d. 
Jackson, C. H. 
Jackson, W. K., d. 
Johnston, J. H. 
Jones, A. J. 
Jordan, Sansom, d. 
Kennerly, E. M. 
Kennerly, John, c. 
Ketchie, Wm. 
Kerns, J. F., c. and d. 
Lowrance, R. W., d. 
Lowrance, L. N. 
Lowrance, S. L., w. 
Moble, Joel. 
Moble, John. 
Martin, J. M., d. 
Martin, John. 
McAuley, J. C. 
McConnell, R. A. 
McGahey, Jas. A., k. 
Miller, W. C. 
Moore, Jas. C. 
Morgan, Zac, k. 
Mowery, Henry. 
Nance, J. A., d. 
Nelson, W., d. 
Osborn, N. B., w. 
Oliphant, J. R., k 
Reese, D. L. 
Shepard, G. T. 
Shields, A. C. 
Sloan, A. C, d. 
Sloan, J. Mc, d. 
Sloan, W. E. 
Smith, W. T., d. 
Sosaman, J. P., c. and w. 
Stearns, Henry M. 
Sloan, D. F. A., w. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



353 



Stokes, J. J. 
Stough.Rich I. 
Strider, John, k 
Tepleton, J. E. D. 
Templeton, J. M., w. 
Templeton, R. D. 
Tye, Wm. A. 
Vance. W. H., d. 
Watts, R. A., d. 
Walls, Thos., w. and c. 
Worsham, Alfred, w. 
Worsham, B. A., d. 
Worsham, Richard, d. 
Worsham, H. J., w. 
Watts, R. F., k. 
Williams, J. H., w. 
Williams, Rufus. 
Total, 121; killed, 13; wounded 
25. 

Company K, Forty = Second Reg- 
iment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

S. B. Alexander, captain. 
B. P. Wilson, lieut. 
A. M. Rhyne, lieut., d. 
Jos. H; Wilson, lieut. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

Thos. Norment. 

Wm. Hecks, w. and c. 

Wm. Price. 

Jas. Keenan, k. 

S. W. Talton, w. 

W. S. Bynum. c. 

Ed. Day, k. 

J. H. Staten, d. 

Jas. Scott, w 

T. C. Dule. 

Li. Adams. 

Privates. 

■ Anderson, W. H. H., w. 
Anderson, G. W., d. 
Benfield, Dan. w. 
Cullet, Ezekiel. 
Coots, Jacob, d. 
Dulin, W. C, k. 
Dulin, W. L. 
Poster, J. H., d. 
Flowers, R. B. 
Gilbert, Harrison. 
Gilbert, Jas. 
Grub, Absalom, d. 
Gaston, J. A. 
Griffin, B. F., d. 
Hendrix, Grayson, w. 
Hendrix, L. J., c. 
Hendrix, Sanford, c. 
Harman. Paul, w. 
Heifer. P. E. 



Helms, Hosea, c. 
Helms, Enoch, c. 
Helms, Gilliam. 
Helms, D. B., c. 
Helms, Albert. 
Helms, John. 
Helms, Josiah, c. 
Helms, Kennel, c. 
Helms, Copeland, w. 
Helms, J. L. 
Helms, Joshua. 
Helms, Eli. W. 
Johnston, Mathew, d. 
Milton, Francis, w. 
Milton, Alex, 
Mitchell, Allison. 
Makaler, Frank. 
Minor, H. J., c. 
Norment, Charles, d. 
Orrell, Sam'l. 
Paul, J. Li., w. 
Phillips, J. B., d. 
Polk, — , k. 
Perry, Noah. 
Privette, Wesley. 
Privette, Wm., k. 
Randall, E. D. 
Rindal, L. L.., c. 
Severs, — , k. 
Singleton, Henry. 
Scott, John, w. 
Scott, Leander. 
Smith, Alex. 
Staner, P. C. 
Shoemaker, Lafayette, d. 
Smith, John. 
Stone, John, w. 
Sanring, J. M. 
Sharpe, Isaac. 
Triplette, J. H. 
Walsh. G. B., c. 
Walsh, J. H. 
Whitley,. John. 
Total number 82. 

Company F, Forty=Ninth Regh 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 
Jas. T. Davis, captain, k. 
Jas. P. Ardrey, k. 
John C. Grier, w. 
John W. Barnett, lieut., k. 
R. H. Grier, lieut., k. 
J. G. Potts, lieut. 
S. R. Neal, lieut. 
Jas. H. Helms, lieut. 
W. T. Barnett, k. 
L. . M. Neal, k. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

J. A. Elliot. 
R. C. Bell. 



354 



HISTORY OF 



Wm. L. Mason, w. 

J. A. Ezzell. 

J. W. Wolf. 

Root. N. Alexander. 

Privates. 

Alexander, E. E. 
Alexander, R. W. 
Alexander, J. J., k. 
Alexander, T. B., d. 
Alexander, W. P., w. 
Earnett, W. P. 
Allen, A. W. 
Ashley, Wm. 
Bennett. D. G., w 
Brown, J. G. 
Brown, W. H. 
Coffee, Ben. 
Grouts --vs. T. M., w. 
Crane, Job. S. 
Crenshaw, John, w. 
Gulp, John, w. 
DeArmond, J. B., w. 
Dunn, Jas. R., w. 
Elliott, S. H., w. 
Farrls, J. A., w. 
Fields, M. A. 
Fincher, J. E., d. 
Fin cher, O. 
Fleniken, ~L. B. 
French, Wm. 
Garrison, A., d. 
Gordon, A. E. 
Griffiin, Egbert. 
Griffith, I. G. 
Griffith, J. W. 
Griffith, T. D. 
Grier, Laurence. 
Mannon, J. J. 
Harkey, D. E. 
Harkey, J. J. 
Harkey, M. L.. 
Harkey, Wash. 
Hartis, J. L. 
Hartis, J. S. 
JJanfield, Jas. W. 
Hennigen, J. E. 
Howard, J. M., w. 
Hudson, Wilson. 
Jamison, Emory. 
Johnston, Dan. 
■ Johnston, J A. 
Kenan, D. G. 
Kenier, J. R. 
Kerr, Jas. 
Kerr, Gc.m'1. 
Kirkpatrick, S. A. 
McAlister, H. B. 
McRaney, Sim'l. 
Miller, W. T. 
Moore, W. W. 
Morris, G. < '. 
\torris, J. W. 
Morris. Wm. 



Neel, W. B. 
Neely, W. A. 
Newell, W. A. 
Osborne, J. H., w. 
Paxton, S. L. 
Phifer, E. M., k. 
Pierce, John, k. 
Pierce, L. M. 
Porter, Robt. A., w. 
Porter, S. L. 
Porter, Zenas. 
Prather, A. R, d. 
Prather, S. F. 
Previtt, Allen. 
Raterree, W. L. 
Rea, D. J., w. 
Reid, William, k. 
Richardson, J. H. 
Ross, W. A. 
Shaw, J. N. 
Smith, E. C. 
Smith, Wm. B. J. 
Spratt, A. P. 
Squires, M. D., w. 
Stanford, C. L. 
Stephenson, Wm. J., w. 
Stitt, Jas. M. 
Swan, J. B. 
Taylor, Ed. S., w. 
Taylor, J. A. R., w. 
Tevepaugh, Wm. 
Tidwell, W. T. A. 
Turner, F. M. 
Walker. E. M., w. 
Warwick, J. M., w. 
Watson, J. A., d. 
Watts, J. S. 
Watson, J. B. 
Weeks, J. L., w. 
Whitesides, Wm., w. 
Wingate, J. P., w. 
Wingate, Wm. C. 
Wolf, J. W. 

Total 116; killed 5; wounded 
23; died 5. 

Company B, Fifty-Third Regi= 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

J. H. White, captain, k. 

S. E. Belk, capt., lost an arm. 

J. M. Springs, lieut. 

W. M. Matthews, lieut. 

M. E. Alexander, lieut 

Non-Com?nissioned Officers. 

R. J. Patterson, w. 
S. M. Blair. 
R. A. Davis. 
A. N. Gray. 
W. R. Bailey. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



355 



R. H. Todd, k. 

W. H. Alexander, k. 

Privates. 

Alexander, J. W., d. 

Alexander, Benj. P., d. 

Alexander, Benj. C. 

Anderson, Wm., d. 

Atchison, Wm., c. and w. 

Armstrong, Leroy, c. 

Barnett, R. S. 

Barnett, W. A., k. 

Barnett, E. L. S. 

Berryhill, W. A., c. 

Berryhill, Andrews, w. 

Berryhill, Alex. 

Barns, S. S., d. 

Bruce, G. W. 

Burwell, J. B. 

Benton, Sam'l., w. 

Baker, G. F.. w. 

Cochrane, J. M. 

Cochran, Wm. R. 

Cochran, R. C. 

Catchcoat, J. H., w. 

Capps, John, d. 

Caton, Elijah, w. and c. 

Caton, Sylv., c. and d. 

Clark, W. H. 

Clark, W. C. 

Clark, A. W. 

Collins, John, k. 

Campbell, J. P. 

Davis, W. A., d. 

Demon, Jacob. 

Donnell, W. T., w and c. 

Engenburn, J. 

Eagle, John, w. 

Eagle, W. H. 

Epps, W. D., k. 

Engel, Jonas. 

Frazier, J. L. 

Fincher, Asa. 

Farrices, Z. W. 

Frazier, J. C. R. 

Grier, J. G., w. 

Giles, M. O. 

Giles, S. H. 

Howie, J. M. 

Howie, Sam'l. M., w. 

Bowie, F. M., w. 

Hall, H. L., w. 

Hood, R. L., c. 

Harry, W. B., w. 

Hoover, F. M 

Katz, Aaron. 

King, P. A., k. 

Kirkpatrick, T. A. 

Knox, J. S. 

Leon, Louis. 

Love, D. L. 



Marks, S. S., c. 
Marks, J. G., w. 
Marks, T. E., k. 
Marks, W. S. 
McGinn, Thos. 
McElroy, Jas. W., k. 
Mitchell, C. J. 
McKinney, Wm. 
McKinney, T. A., c. 
Merritt, Wm. N., k. 
McCrary, Jordan. 
Morrison, J. M. 
McCombs, A. H., w and c. 
Maxwell, P. P., w. 
McCrum, A. H., k. 
Norment, A. A., k. 
Otters, Cooney, c. and d. 
Owens, J. Henry, k. 
Oates, Jas. 
Potts, Jas. H. 
Patterson, S. L. 
Parks, Miah, c. 
Reid, H. K. 
Reid, J. F., k. 
Robinson, Thomp. 
Russell, H. T., c. 
Rodden, N. B., w. 
Rodden, W. R., k. 
Robinson, J. P. 
Smith, Lemuel. 
Sweat. J. M. 
Sample, H. B., c. 
Sample, David. 
Sample, J. W. 
Sample, J. M., c. 
Springs, R. A. 
Stone, W. D., w. and c. 
Sulivan, W. L. 
Stewart, W. S., d. 
Taylor, J. W., w. 
Todd, E. S. 
Thomas, Henry. 
Trotter, A. G. 
Trotter, Thos., d. 
Vickers, E. N. 
Worthen, Henry, d. 
Wilkenson, Neil, k. 
Wolfe, C. H. 
Winders, P. S., c. 
Wilson, L. R., c. 
Wilson, J. H., k. 
Wilson, S. W., w. and c. 
Wilson, J. M. 
Wilkerson, R. L. 
Williams, Hugh. 
"Williams, J. W. 
Williams, A. L. 
Williamson, A. L., c. 
Williamson, J. M., c. 
White, J. T. 

Total, 110; killed, 16; wounded 
21; died, 12; captured, 20. 



356 



HISTORY OF 



Company E, Fifty-Ninth Regi- 
ment N. C. Cavalry. 

Officers. 

J. Y. Bryce, captain, w. 
Robt. Gadd, lieut. 
B. H. Sanders, lieut. 
Wm. Bryce, lieut. 

Non-Commissioned Officers. 

J. J. Misenheimer. 
J. B. Davis. 
J. F. Davidson. 
G. F. Vickers, k. 

Vickers, k 

W. H. A. Kluts. 
R. Kluts. 
M. L. Furr. 
Noah Shore. 

Privates. 

Blackwelder, D. C. 
Biggers, Wm. 
Biggers, Houston, d. 
Biggers, Robt. 
Bost, Moses. 
Bost, S. C. 
Bost, J. K. P. 
Beattie, J. O. 
Barbon, George. 
Barber, Josiah. 
Benson, H. A. 
Broadstreet, J. R., c. 
Browning, J. M., d. 
Cline, H. B. 
Cline, . D., c. 
Carriker, S. C. 
Cox, J. D. 
Cruse, Peter. 
Clay, J. L., c. 
Craig, Alex., c. 
Davis, W. E. 
Doolan, E., k 
Eaudy, Paul. 
Furr, Mat. 
Furr, D. C. 
Furr, Allen. 
Furr, Darling. 
Furr, W. M. 
Furr, A. W., d. 
Fisher C. A. 
File, J. F. 
Falls, W. A. 
Faggart, D. C. 
Foard. E. M. 
Floyd. Wm. 
Fink, Peter, k. 
Griffin, Wesly. 
Gatlin. G. W. 
Grover Austin. 
Hagler, Jacob. 
Hagler, Allen. 



Hagler, Nelson. 
Hagler, J. A. 
Hoffman, J. L. 
Hoffman, J. M. 
Hartman, H. L. 
Howell, W. E, 
Hunsucker, N. J. 
Johnston, J M., c. 
Johnston, G. W. 
Johnston. Jacob. 
Riser, G. A. 
Riser, N. D. 
Kimmons, R. M. 
Lay, J. G. 
Linker, Jas. 
Linker, W. R. 
Linker, Aaron. 
Linker, Moses. 
Lefter. W. H. 
Lay, W. J. 
Lay, A. L. 
Lay, J. W. 
Ledford, C. M. 
McCoy, J. R. 
McDaniel, E. B., k. 
McDaniel, E. A., d. 
McEntire, M. L., c. 
Misenhemier, J. H, 
Moreton, W. R., d. 
Moore, Dr. T. J. 
Osborne, J. F. 
Osborne, Robt., d. 
Plyler, F. S. 
Pender, J. H. 
Perkins, A. 
Pace, Young. 
Reaves, F. A. 
Rice, Moses. 
Richards, Wm. 
Ray, A. D., c. 
Rhyne, C. M. 
Rinrhnrt, W. D„ c. 
Rinehart, Thos. 
Starns, John, d. 
Starnes, E. W. 
SosSaman, D. G. 
Sossaman, W. H. 
Smith, J. B. 
Smith, G. L. 
Smith, G. F. 
Stranter, Wm. 
Stranter, John. 
Stranter, T. H. 
Stowe, L. P. 
Smith, Frank, k. 
Smith, L. A. 
Thomas, C. W. 
Turner, W. D. 
Troutman, Geo. 
Wallace, J. M. 
Wilson, J. M. 
Wilson, Wm. 
Wallace, J. R. 
Williamson, J. M. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 



357 



Williamson, J. B., w. 
Total 116; died 6; killed 6; 
■wounded 3; captured 4. 

Company B, Forty-Third Regi- 
ment N. C. Troops. 

Officers. 

Robert P. Waring, Captain. 
Drury Ringstaff, 1st lieut. 
William E. Still, 2nd lieut. 
Julius Alexander, 2nd lieut. 
Robert T. Burwell, 2nd lieut. 

2V on-Commissioned Officers. 

Drury Lacy, 1st sergt. 
Robert B. Corbie, 2nd sergt. 
S. R. Johnston, 3rd sergt. 
J. Harris Hunter, 4th sergt. 
R. T. Burwell, 5th sergt. 
Henry S. Presson, 1st corporal. 
iSmiley W. Hunter, 2nd corporal. 
Robt. C. McGinness, 3rd corp'l. 
Hiram Secrest, 4th corporal, k. 

Privates. 

Alexander, John M. 
Aycock, W. M., k. 
Broom, Samron, 
Broom, Solomon. 
Broom, S. A. 
Broom, N. W. 
Broom, Calvin, k. 
Broom, Wilson. 
Broom, A. T. 
Barnes, Bryant. 
Bl'ackwelder, D. M. 
Boyd, Hugh. 
Burwell, W. R. 
Cochran, W. L., k. 
Craft, A. J. 
Allen, Dees K. 
Fincher, Levi J., w. 
Fowler, Moses F. 
Fowler, Geio.W.. k. 
Griffith, J. Henry, k. 
Griffith. J. L. 
Grier, Paul B., k. 
Griffith, Marley. 
Griffith, Farrington. 
Harrington, Ed. P. 
Helms, Asa. 
Helms, Josiah, k. 
Helms, Noah. 
Helms, Elbert, k. 
Helms, W. M. 
Helms, Alex. L. 
Helms, Noah J. 
Howell, W. J., k. 
Hunter, Mad, k. 
Hare-rave, Robt. W. 
Knight, W. M. 
Singleton, Lacy D. 



Little, Bryant. 
Moore, Pleasant. 
McGwirt, David. 
McGwirt, H. A. 
Mullis, Simon. 
Mannis, T. M. 
Marinis, A. W. 
Price, Josiah G. 
Phillips, John. 
Presley, John M. 
Presley, Caswell. 
Parsons, Larkins. 
Paxton, William W. 
Robinson, M. M. 
Bobinson, M. B. 
Robinson, Samuel J. 
Reams, John W., k. 
Rea, W. F. 
Stearns, Johnston. 
Stearns, Daniel, k. 
Stearns, Thos. H. 
Stearns, John R., k. 
Stacks, Albert. 
Steele, Albert, k. 
Steele, Thos. 
Stegall, Mioses. 
Stegall, Ambrose. 
Stancel, James. 
Stout, J. S. 
Swift, Geo. W. 
Simpson, H. Mc. 
Sikes, Geo. G. 
Sherrill, William E. 
Thornburg, John L. 
Wilson, W. A. 
Womack, John. 
Wilson, J. A. 
Wilson, G. J. 

Reported ki'led 20; wounded 1; 
died 7; but 19 lived to get 
home; 50 not accounted for. 

Company F, Sixty-Third Regi- 
ment N. C. Cavalry. 

Officers. 

John R. Erwin, captain. 

J. McWhite, first lieut. 

C. S. Gibson, second lieut. 

W. J. Wiley, third lieut. 

S. A. Grier. first, sergt. 

J. R. Kirkpatrick. second sergt. 

R. A. Davidson, third sergt. 

P. W. Lintz, fourth sergt. 

J. H. Henderson, first, oornoPal. 

J. M. Beaver, second corporal. 

H. C. Bird, third corporal. 

C. B. Palmer, fourth corporal. 

Privates. 

Armstrong, Larkin. 
Armstrong, Mathew. 
Alexander. H. L. 



35« 



HISTORY OF 



Alexander, W. N. 

Alexander, J. W. 

Alexander, J. S. 

Abernaithy, W. D. 

Andrews, G. W. 

Asbury, Eugene. 

Adams, James. 

Brown, J. C. 

Blackwelder, Jas. 

Blackwood, Eli. 

Burroughs, John. 

Brum, C. F. 

Bowden, L<ewis. 

Bigham, Green. 

Cochran, J. C. 

Cochran, R. E., capt. and q. m. 

Caldwell, D. A. 

Caldwell, R. B. 

Caldwell, J. N. 

Caldwell, H. M. 

Cahill, John. 

Cathey, John. 

Coleman, T. P. 

Davidson, R. A. 

Davis, J. T. A. 

Downs, J. T. 

Eudy, John. 

Erwin, W. R. 

Furguson, F. A. 

Flenigan, R. G. 

Ferrell, J. F. M. 

Fisher, J. V. 

Fisher, Alfred. 

Fisher, Francis. 

Fisher, E. L. 

Faggot, Dan. 

Gibson, D. M. 

Griffith, C. F. 

Grier, J. H. 

Grier, Sam. 

Harkey, W. F. 

Howie, W. H. 

Halobough, J. M. 

Hunter, A. B. 

Hoover, T. J. 

Hovis, F. 

Harmon, D. A. 

Harris, J. S. 

Hinson, M. 

Hutchison. C. N. 

Hartsell, Wm. 

Jamison, J. Li. 

Jennings, J. H. 

Kirkpptrir-k, W. L. 

irknatrick. J. M. 

Kerr. R. D. 

Kustler, M. E. 



Love, D. L. 

Dove, J. M. 

Lentz, Aaron. 

Lindsay, Thos. 

Leeper, Jas. 

Ludwick, S. 

Ludwick, Wm. 

Montgomery, R. C. 

McCall, J. A. 

McElhany, E. A. 

McElh&ny, S. L. 

McDonald, J. R. 

McDonald, Worth. 

Millen, R. A. 

McKinzie, Wm. 

Means, P. B. 

Moore, J. M. 

Miller, S. 

Minus, J. S. 

Nance, W. T. 

Nelson, J. M. 

Norwood, R. F. 

Neagle, J. F. 

Prather, W. S. 

Quiry, Walter. 

Reed, W. H. 

Russell, P. J. 

Roper, P. H. 

Regler, J. R. 

Rea, D. B. 

Rea, Sam'l. 

Smith, D. W. 

Smith, A. 

Smith, R. T. 

Smith, J. B. 

Smith, John. 

Smith, Wm. 

Sloan, W. S. 

Shuman, W. H. 

Sharp, J. R. 

Survis, T. O. 

Terris C. E. 

Tiser, W. H. G. 

Taylor, D. B. 

Tate, T. A. 

Tate, F. A. 

Torrence. C. L. 

Wilson, Wm. 

Wilson, J. C. 

White, R. S. 

Weaver, J. A. 

Wright. J. C. 

Wryfleld, Wm. 

Wallace, I. N. 

Younts, J. A. 

Young, J. A. 

Casualties not reported. 



MECKLKNBURG COUNTY. 



359 



From Mecklenburg, Not in Com Mecklenburg Men Recruited by 



panies Raised in County. 

Solomon Harkey, Heavy Artil- 
lery, Wilmington. 

Captain Nic. Gibbon, Com. 28th 
Regt., N. C. Troops. 



Capt. N. P. Rankin, of Guih 

ford. 

J. L. Adams, orderly sergt. 
W. A. Mock. 
W. H. Mock, sergt. 
John N. Patterson. 
Wm. Boils. 



Reconstruction Times in Mecklenburg. 

With the end of the war came reconstruction. The county 
of Mecklenburg - never saw trouble before or since equal to 
the anoyance we were made to endure for seven years. Im- 
mediately on the disbanding- of our armies, the Federal sol- 
diers, six thousand strong - , camped in and around Charlotte, 
to keep our people quiet. 

It is hard to keep within the bounds of decorum and tell 
the plain, unvarnished truth, while this despotism lasted. 
The people were helpless indeed ; their armies disbanded, all 
arms given up, or at least were called for. Crops were 
pitched and worked over once before the surrender, but the 
people had no money to hire labor to work their crops; 
horses and mules were stolen by Federal soldiers, and some 
by our former slaves ; no redress by process of law. Where 
a negro man stole a mule and was placed in jail, he was im- 
mediately taken out of prison and the owner of the mule noti- 
fied that any further molesting of the colored man or depriv- 
ing him of his liberty would meet with speedy punishment. 

A freedman's bureau was at once established that took the 
oversight of all freed men, to see that they got what they 
thought they were entitled to. But for a "consideration" in 
the way of a private fee, the captain would grant the em- 
ployer of negroes permission to use a "persuader" to in- 
crease the amount of work gotten out of the freed man. The 
negroes had never enjoyed freedom before, and if they had 
not been led astray by unprincipled white men, they would 
have listened to their best friends, their former masters. 
They always had looked to them for food, clothing and shel- 
ter; and now in their new condition they could see no help 
only in the Freedman's Bureau. And here they were kicked 
about by petty tyrants to steal what little they could get out 
of them. 

This bureau encouraged stealing and enmity between the 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 361 

races all over the country. It was a rare thing for those in 
authority to urge an idea or plan that would be beneficial to 
both races ; they were not willing for the negroes to be gov- 
erned by the same code of laws held good for the white race. 
Probably they would not enrich the negro, but they would 
not allow the law to be enforced, for their stealing. A case 
is stated that occurred four miles from town on the Beattie's 
Ford road that illustrates the matter as it really occurred. 

John Henderson — a mulatto — who was a very thrifty 
man, really more free when a slave than he ever was after 
he became a freed man. His house was well furnished, he 
kept a gold watch and a broadcloth suit of clothes. These 
last items were stolen out of his house by Yankee soldiers. 
John found them in the possession of a soldier, and com- 
plained to the General commanding, who told him to say 
nothing more about it; that it would not be safe for him 
(the negro) to have the man arrested. This was a common 
way of settling things gotten by the slight of hand. Some 
gentlemen who were tired of this kind of imposition in the 
eastern part of the county, put, blood hounds on the track of 
a thief or thieves, and tracked a load of bacon to the central 
part of town, where the officer of the day ordered the dogs to 
be taken off. It was worse than idle to have resisted. Yes, 
the bureau encouraged stealing. 

It was very annoying for a good citizen of the county to 
be subpoenaed by a former slave, acting as deputy, to appear 
at the bureau to answer certain complaints lodged by said 
freedman. It was worse than foolish to ignore the order. 
Here you were confronted with negroes, probably some that 
vou had never seen before. 

Political speeches were made by shrewd negroes of an in- 
flammatory character that set the freedmen wild. They ex- 
pected the time to speedily come when they would be the law- 
makers of North Carolina. All the leading white men of the 
State were disfranchised. All who would not take the oath 
to support the Emancipation Proclamation, setting the 
negroes free, and giving them the right of suffrage, were 



362 HISTORY OF 

prohibited from voting, or exercising the right of suffrage. 
This exceedingly bitter pill was forced upon us, when we 
were in this helpless condition. This election, the first after 
the surrender, was held in 1868. I thought I could vote 
without fail, as no office in the gift of the State or the United 
States had ever been entrusted to me. When I approached 
the election box with a ballot, the chief manager called me 
to halt, to hold up my right hand, that he would have to 
swear me, and commenced reading a printed oath of great 
length, the latter part of which was in these words : "And 
you further SAvear that you never carried arms, aided or 
abetted in the rebellion against the United States." Here 
I said: "Hold on, 'Squire; that lets me out." It is not to 
be supposed that one of all the splendid body of soldiers that 
went from Mecklenburg acted less patriotically. Some 
scalawags did swallow the oath, but the people believed they 
were paid for their treachery. On the other hand every 
negro voted on his own freedom, and his right to the elec- 
tion franchise. The election, like the negro's idea of reli- 
gious worship, was too good to be done with in one day. The 
negroes and scalawags had it all their own way; it is true, 
they had orders how to conduct it. It is true things were 
done by the orders of Gen. Canby, headquarters in Charles- 
ton, S. C. 

The election was held for three successive days, carrying 
the boxes containing the ballots home with them at night 
for three nights, and then sending the boxes to Charleston 
for Gen. Canby to count. The whole election machinery in 
the hands of an irresponsible party, and the enemies of the 
best people in Mecklenburg county. Truly we were in a hor- 
rible condition. No one knew what a day would bring forth. 

The first election was about to come off, and the freedmen 
were exceedingly jubilant, thinking that freedom meant 
licence, to take whatever they wanted without giving a quid 
pro quo. Any kind of rumors could be heard on the streets, 
great crowds of negroes could be seen at almost every cor- 
ner discussing every move that was made. Scarcely any 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 363 

person was cool enough to guide the storm that was brew- 
ing. The whites were but indifferently armed. Probably a 
thousand negro men parading the streets and six thousand 
Federal soldiers here in camp to take the part of the negroes 
against the white people of the country. They were in such 
a high state of frenzy as to 1 only need a match to cause an ex- 
plosion. A man by the name of Ed. Bizzel was mayor at 
this time, and had his office in the old frame building on 
West Trade street nearly opposite the Presbyterian church, 
where in after years a negro killed an Italian by the name of 
Mocha. Bizzell strongly sympathized with the turbulent 
element. He had two or more negroes on the police force, 
with some very bad white men, who were no better. 

The man Bizzell, the mayor at the time — a northern 
man — was a fit representative of the party that was preying 
upon what was left of the once glorious county of Mecklen- 
burg. He had a negro wife and family of mulatto chil- 
dren! A chief ruler, where he was not fit to serve. This 
was called reconstruction. 

Capt. F. S. DeWolf, a true Confederate, married a 
daughter of Maj. J. B. Kerr soon after the war, while the 
town was infested with Federal troops, Maj. Kerr was 
lying dangerously ill and his garden — hotel garden — was 
raided every night by a large squad of soldiers, and Capt. 
DeWolf asked for a guard to protect the premises from the 
nightly thieves. One night just after dark he walked out to 
see after the safety of his garden, and he saw the guard 
talking to the thieves as hail fellows well met. The captain 
remonstrated with them, and they cursed him. The captain 
fired upon them and killed one. He surrendered and was 
tried by military law and acquitted. But the privates swore 
vengeance against him, and he had to keep hid for weeks in 
daylight. 

vSergt. Joe Orr, a brave soldier and good man, was living 
about five miles from town. He was sent in town by his em- 
ployer on an errand. He hitched his horse — which was a 
verv fine one — to a tree where Mr. Lum Springs now lives, 



364 HISTORY OF 

and stepped into a store for a few minutes, and when he 
came out his horse was gone. While enquiring about his 
horse, a Yankee sergeant remarked : "If you will give me 
five dollars, I will find your horse." Mr. Orr promptly gave 
him the money. The soldier said : "Now get up behind me 
and we will find your horse and the thief at the liquor shop 
in the outer edge of town." When they got there, there were 
both thief and horse in a crowd drinking at the saloon. Mr. 
Orr commanded the Federal soldier to get off his horse and to 
give up his property. The Federal immediately dismounted 
and made for the one-arm' sergeant, but he was ready for 
him and struck the Yankee a blow on the head with a hickory 
stick that settled him. Orr was immediately arrested, and by 
the time they got up town to the court house a great crowd 
had collected and going up stairs in the great throng, Ser- 
geant Orr made his escape, jumped his fine horse and never 
halted until he reached home, loaded his double-barreled shot 
gun with buckshot and waited in the front porch all night. 
But fortunately he was not molested afterwards. The Orr 
family have proved themselves to be brave men on many 
fields of battle, and on more than one occasion here in Meck- 
lenburg. John Orr is thought to be by many persons the 
bravest man in Mecklenburg ; but they are all good citizens. 
Immediately after the arrival of the Federal troops in 
Charlotte, they issued an order that no Confederate soldier 
should be allowed to wear an insignia of rank, a Confeder- 
ate button. The order was to humiliate the Confederate 
soldier, and if possible to make "treason odious." The order 
merely served to fan the coals of hatred and keep alive the 
spirit of resentment. Nothing was more common for a 
few days than to see a Yankee cut the buttons from the coat 
of an ex- Con federate, and immediately see the Federal 
soldier knocked down. There were some indignities, though 
trifling in themselves, no worthy man would submit to. The 
order was countermanded after a few clays, when it was seen 
that the indignity would be resented. Little things that were 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 365 

unworthy of notice could become intolerable owing to the 
spirit in which they were done. 

It was quite common for Federal soldiers to parade the 
streets in crowds of six to fifteen in a squad, taking up the 
entire pavement, insulting men or women, compelling them 
to step off the pavement, and give the right of way to the 
men dressed in blue. One morning a squad passing up 
North Tryon met an Alabama ex-Confederate who was well 
known in the county before the war for his good humor, 
when treated as a gentleman, but when treated insultingly, 
he was a devil incarnate. S. L. Carrol was ordered by a 
squad of blue coats "to git off the pavement and let gentle- 
men pass." Quick as a flash of powder, Carrol struck the 
spokesman on the side of his head, knocking him senseless. 
The rest ran off for help, intending to mob the Confederate, 
but his friends urged him to get away, as he had no chance 
against their entire force. The little mill created quite a 
talk in the county for a few days. Nothing ever grew out 
of it. Mr. Carrol stayed out of town for a while, and it 
was soon forgotten. 

A very unequal tax was put on the people. Whether it 
was down right robbery or not, we cannot say ; but it had the 
form of coming from the United States Government. The 
land tax, they claimed, was levied during the war, and it was 
impossible to collect it. In some counties it was collected 
and in other counties they never made an effort to collect it. 
Some persons positively refused to pay it, and no effort was 
made to collect. In five or ten years, by some means they 
returned what they pressed from our people. Whether a 
guilty conscience held before their eyes or their minds the ill- 
gotten gains, we will never know, but all the same, we were 
glad to get back what had been stolen without interest. 

Whenever a rich prize could be found it was sure to be 
seized by those in control. If it was not lying around loose, 
they could quickly issue an order that would take in charge 
whatever they could see had money — big money — in it. The 
South was a bonanza for those who ran the despotism for 



366 HISTORY OF 

what money was in it. They put a tax on lint cotton of three 
cents a pound — $3.00 per hundred, $15.00 per bale for 500- 
pound bale. A farmer who raised ten bales paid a tax of 
$150.00. We had many farmers in Mecklenburg' county 
who raised five times that amount of cotton, and conse- 
quently paid the tax in full. 

The cries of the oppressed people were not loud, but they 
were deep. Many women who were raised tenderly and 
were accustomd to have every wish gratified, now saw the 
wolf of want at their doors, now rose up and saw their all 
taken away, instead of pining about the hard luck, they went 
to work with a will and forced nature to> open her store- 
house, and no one starved in our county. But we certainly 
are under no obligations to the United States Government 
for favors shown in the days of our humiliation. 

In the times of reconstruction one of the most humiliat- 
ing spectacles we were forced to witness was the order for- 
bidding ministers to perform the functions of their office 
unless they would take the iron-clad oath, "Declaring- that 
they never aided or abetted in the war of the rebellion." 
Some of the best men in the world, in this county, for two 
years never administered the sacrament of the Lord's Sup- 
per, administered baptism, or solemnized a marriage 
till the order was revoked. Some ministers paid no 
attention to the order, but went right on, virtually defying 
the commands of Gen. Canby. 

The political situation in this county had to be held with 
an iron hand in the troublous days of reconstruction. It 
got into some of the churches in the country that did no good 
to the cause of religion, but wrought much evil. The won- 
der is it did not do more harm when the people were so 
stirred in political matters. But it was fortunately arranged 
that no permanent bad effect resulted. We got rid of some 
preachers that were more anxious to reap political honors 
than win souls for Christ. 

Within a few months after the Federal soldiers took 
charge of the town and county, they organized the Loyal 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 367 

League, a preliminary to the Republican party. All over the 
county meetings were held at night to encourage negroes to 
join. A few white men would act with them, but extremely 
few who were educated, and they were generally ostracised 
by the good people of the county. Politics absorbed all the 
attention of every one. It was the negroes and bad whites 
against the conservative element. It went from bad to worse 
until the "Ku Klux" was organized for self-protection. The 
two parties did not go so far in disturbing the peace of the 
county, as was done in other places. Hence the Ku Klux 
were not called on so often to regulate the troubles in 
this county ; but they exercised a wholesome authority in the 
community. A negro-, Tom Alexander, who lived just west 
of Huntersville, thought if he was free he had a right to vote 
as he pleased ; and he voted the conservative ticket, where- 
upon he was ostracised by all the negroes and his children 
beaten by other children and called "Democrat niggers." 
This was carried on till it became more than Tom would 
bear. He went over to the house of the father of the children 
who had beaten his, and asked him to correct his children for 
their bad behavior. He jumped up and seized a hand spike 
and ordered Tom out of his yard, advancing on him, when 
Tom shot him dead. The negroes applied to a Justice of 
the Peace for a warrant for Tom's arrest. The warrant was 
put in the hands of the worst negro in the county as a deputy 
officer, who said he was specially instructed to search the 
houses of Dr. J. B. Alexander and R. B. Hunter, Esq. For 
two or three days a gang of fifty negroes were scouring the 
roads and fields in every direction, armed with every con- 
ceivable kind of weapon, on foot and horseback. The neigh- 
borhood was thoroughly terrorized ; that is, the women and 
children were in danger. They had never witnessed a similar 
sight before. Mr. James Blythe went to the negro deputy 
and asked to see his warrant, which he transferred to his 
own pocket, and dismissed the negroes. It was truly a 
reign of terror while it lasted; but it was in keeping with 
the manner of reconstruction. Thirty years have passed, 



368 HISTORY OF 

and Tom has not returned. His wife and children still live 
in Mecklenburg. The white people at large have shown her 
much sympathy, and her children have done well, and are 
regarded as good citizens. 

Another scheme of robbery practiced by Federal soldiers 
during their stay in Charlotte, was to hunt up branded 
horses which Gen. Grant willingly let the Confederate sol- 
diers take to their homes to cultivate a crop with. They 
would bring them in and demand from ten to thirty dollars 
for the horse, and if the poor soldier could not raise the cash, 
it was sold to some one else. So> the crop would have to be 
lost for the want of a horse. 

The people were all miserably poor. It was hard to get a 
start in the race of life. Some farmers had a few bales of 
cotton laid away for a rainy day; but the order of stealing 
had become so common it was almost impossible to keep it, 
and it was in almost as much danger to offer it for sale. The 
Yankees were as watchful as hawks for anything that they 
could turn into money. Cotton that was stored in Charlotte 
stood no' better chance of safety. 

Col. L. S. Williams had more than five hundred bales in 
different places, and lost it all but one hundred bales. An 
expert thief commanded a premium, and truth forbids it to 
be said that no thief belonged to' Mecklenburg county. The 
whole country was more or less demoralized. One of Gen. 
Canby's orders that was enforced was that every woman, 
before she could be lawfully married, would have to take 
an oath to "support the Constitution of the United States." 
This was done to humiliate our people, the women who 
stood firm for the rights of the South and exhibited a patriot- 
ism that has never been excelled in the world. This oath 
had to be administered by a Notary Public or a Magistrate. 
And as no preacher could take the iron-clad oath, a Justice 
of the Peace could not only administer the oath, but could 
perform the martial rites as well. It was also ordered that 
all negroes living as man and wife, must be married over 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 369 

again, that is, buy new license, which cost them $3.00, even 
if they were on the down hill of life, and their children had 
left home to start families of their own. The price of the 
license had to be paid. 



Last Chapter of Mecklenburg History. 

We have seen the appearance of Mecklenburg one hun- 
dred and fifty years ago, "in good old colonial times when 
we lived under the king;" when the tall prairie grass and the 
wild pea vines covered the whole face of the Western part 
of the State ; when the log cabin of the early settler, located 
down near the spring, always extended a most cordial 
invitation to the "new comer," who was hunting a home in 
the land of the deer and the buffalo, with great abundance of 
smaller game; when the water courses were well stocked 
with fish, even the spring branches were frolicsome with 
the horny heads and minnows, up to the fountain head. 

Modern utilitarianism will have much to answer for at 
the shrine of natural beauty of scenery, of the virgin soil 
of Mecklenburg county. The deep channels of our creeks 
are now filled up ; the timber on our uplands, as well as the 
creek and river bottoms, has been cleared, and the soil has 
been carried away by the rains ; the meadows have been over- 
flooded, and the sweet grass that formerly fed the cattle and 
sheep in large heards and flocks, is now only heard of when 
some old man who was raised on the farm becomes remi- 
niscent. The first half of the last century our people seemed 
to think We should raise at home all that we needed to eat 
•or wear; that if our people stayed at home, that they had 
but little need of money, consequently they did not try to 
have much for market, or at least did not raise much that 
would have to be hauled by wagon. Some horses, mules, 
cattle, sheep and turkeys were driven to Charleston to find 
a market and sometimes to Philadelphia. The first railroad 
finished to Charlotte was from Columbia, in 1852. 

Before this period, that is before railroads were built, but 
little was consumed on the farm but what was raised there, 
or manufactured at home. 

Until the first half of the Nineteenth century was passed, 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 37I 

all the iron that was used in Mecklenburg came from the 
iron works in Lincoln county. It was in bars six to ten feet 
long, about one inch thick and two and a half wide, with a 
wide expanse at one end, from six inches to a foot in width. 
This wide piece was to make various sized plows. This re- 
quired heavy work to hammer it into the shape desired. The 
blacksmith was truly an artist a hundred years ago. Every- 
thing that was wanted or needed, had to be home made, even 
the nails to build our houses, fix the doors and window shut- 
ters, and to nail on the roofs. Fortunately the timber out of 
which our shingles were made would last indefinitely. It 
was not uncommon for shingle roofs to last and turn rain for 
eighty years, and when patched, it would be good for a cen- 
tury. Now what do we see as for building material ? Lumber 
is dried and dressed by machinery, put at your door, all the 
irons, nails, screws, hinges, locks and bolts are gotten from 
the hardware stores, in every variety that the most fastidious 
taste could desire. The old time blacksmith is now a back 
number, except to shoe horses and repair breaks in vehicles 
and machinery. The farmers no longer cut their small grain 
with a scythe and cradle, but they use reapers and bind- 
ers, which do the work of ten cradles, and save the grain 
much better. Before 1850 farmers were hard put to have 
their small grain thrashed out of the straw. The most com- 
mon way was to have it tramped out with horse or oxen. 
Some persons beat it out with a flail, and some by turning a 
wagon upon it, but then it would have to be done out of 
doors, subject to rain and storm. 

In this the revolution has been as great as in the harvest. 
The thrashing and cleaning and sacking is -all done by ma- 
chinery. All work is done by the saving of labor, the ex- 
pense is less and the work is more efficiently performed than 
when done by hand. The first three-fourths of the century 
only the French burr stones were supposed to be the best of 
all substances that could be found for making flour; but in 
these latter years it has been discovered that roller mills 
give the greatest satisfaction. Iron, or chilled rollers, the 



372 HISTORY OF 

porcelain or glass rollers, having a wonderful velocity, makes 
the most elegant flour on the market. The old water mill 
that we thought fifty years ago could not be improved upon, 
is now almost forgotten, and grain mills are now to he found 
in successful operation at all respectable sized towns, 
although no creek or river may be in sight. Steam has been 
the great motive power, but is now giving way to electricity, 
which in one or two decades will be the great motive power 
of the world, unless liquid air or some future discovery 
should take its place. 

At the first of the Nineteenth century, or during the first 
quarter of the century, the people only planted a small 
"patch" of cotton, just enough for the good women of the 
home to spin and have woven into cloth for the family. It is 
not supposed there was a ctoton gin in Mecklenburg county 
prior to 1825. Prior to this cotton was finger-picked — 
that is, the seed were picked out by hand. The end of the 
century has come, and all agricultural work has changed as 
if the fabled Genii had made a revolution that has made us a 
new civilization ; virtually, "old things have passed away, 
and all things have become new." Cotton was then in its 
infancy. 

In the closing years of the Nineteenth century, we have 
seen a wonderful change in the civilization in times in which 
we live. Instead of the cotton "patch" of one hundred years 
ago, we have large fields of the fleecy staple, and it has become 
the principal crop. It used to be the rule on negro quarters 
for the negro men to gear two horses to the gin and leave a 
woman and a half-grown boy to gin cotton; they would 
finish one bale by noon, which the hands would pack while 
the horses were eating, and gin another bale by night. Two 
bales in a day fifty years ago was considered a good day's 
work. Now, in the year 1902, ten to fifteen and even twenty 
bales a day is not considered as great a day's work as when 
five bales were done in a day. 

It was a question a half a century ago, what is the easiest 
way to dispose of the cotton seed; we did not know their 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 373 

value then, the oil had not been expressed, no price was 
fixed ; meal was not known then to hold so much nitrogen for 
making fertilizers of so great value, and for feeding pur- 
poses. The seed that we formerly wasted is now worth one- 
fourth of the entire crop. The cotton crop now holds the 
balance of power among the crops of the country. There 
was probably not a cotton factory in the county prior to 
1875. Now the county stands first in the number of mills 
or factories. Our county has been anything else than a 
laggard in the race of progress. 

When a boy going to school it was a common sight to see 
large flocks of sheep. A half a century ago but few people 
kept their sheep up in pasture, but let them run at large. 
Almost every farmer kept from 20 to 80 in a flock. By 
salting them when they came home, they always knew where 
to find a "lick." 

It was rare sport for school children to witness the leader 
of a flock to espie another flock approaching, and he knew 
intuitively that a fight was brewing, for every flock had its 
ram that would champion the cause of the family. The two 
belligerents seemed to understand that nothing short of a 
decisive battle would put a quietus en the approaching lead- 
ers. The flocks would take opposite sides, remain quiet, and 
the rams would step backwards till they were about twenty 
paces apart, when they would run rapidly together, butting 
their heads together with a loud noise, frequently both being 
knocked down. This operation being repeated till one of the 
two would run. Sometimes their horns would become 
locked, and they would be found dead, still unclasped. For 
the last twenty-five years the worthless dogs have made it 
unprofitable to raise sheep in this county. It is now a lost 
industry, that children and vagrants may enjoy the pleasure 
of keeping a pack of dogs. 

The common, or the old field schools, did not improve very 
much till the last quarter of the Nineteenth century. The 
room in which the school was taught was generally built of 
logs, with a dirt floor, a log was cut out for a window where 



37^ 



HISTORY OF 



a writing desk was made; slabs were used for benches, gen- 
erally so high that little children could not reach the floor, 
and a child would be in punishment for days or months at a 
time. But we are glad to know that a decided improvement 
in respect to school houses has taken place in the latter days. 
The pupils are more comfortable, and in a better spirit more 
in accord with a desire to learn. We now have teachers 
worthy of the name, to train our children. 

In the early part of the century, the rod was considered a 
necessity — very necessary part of the school furniture. Mr. 
T. W. Sparrow, who was a most excellent scholar as well as 
a good teacher, often remarked : "If you will furnish the 
boy and the book, I will do the whipping." In the last quar- 
ter of a century the pendulum has swung too far the other 
way. A happy medium would probably produce the best re- 
sults. 

Until the last fifty years, or even down to twenty-five 
years ago, to see a child or a young person wearing specta- 
cles was almost unheard of. Now you hardly see a school 
room but has one or more pupils with defective vision. In 
fact we are noted as a people given to wearing eye-glasses. 
The question is frequently asked, "What is the cause of so 
much impaired vision?" It can be truthfully said that the 
vigor of manhood has been impaired to a remarkable extent 
in the last third of a century. It formerly was not consid- 
ered excessive for a man to cut and split one hundred rails 
in a day, or cut one hundred dozen of wheat or oats in a 
day. Now it takes two men to perform the same amount of 
labor. "The part of least resistance is the first to give way." 
The offspring of such enfeebled persons shows degeneracy 
in different parts of the body, and we might expect as deli- 
cate an organ as the eye to be affected more or less seriously. 

The negro in slavery time never complained of any defect 
of vision until old age came on, but now they can sport eye- 
glasses with as much grace and pride of dress as if they came 
of a long line of weak eyes. 

The thousands of Confederate soldiers with whom we 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 375 

were associated, scarcely a one needed his eyesight improved 
forty years ago. But now if we go oni a visit to the various 
asylums in Morganton and Raleigh, we see not only the 
blind and deaf and dumb, but what is worse, the vast and in- 
creasing number of insane. The State has a heavy load. 
Our new civilization will have much to answer for at the bar 
of a healthy people. 

Dr. Julian J. Chisholm, of Baltimore, told the writer once 
in treating a lady's eyes, in which he met with only failure, 
at which he was much mortified, he said to her if he were not 
sure to the contrary, he would say she was addicted to the use 
of tobacco. She blushed and said she would have to plead 
guilty. That may be the cause of many cases of defective 
eyesight. 

In the early years of the Nineteenth century, the price of 
newspapers was three to five times as high as one hundred 
years later, and so was the postage on papers and letters, 
which last was twenty-five cents, which has gradually been 
reduced to two cents, and a postal card to one cent. There 
was but one postoffice between Charlotte and Davidson Col- 
lege. That was Alexandriana, the mail on which route was 
carried once a week — going from Statesville to Charlotte on 
Friday and back on Saturday. The mail was always light. 
The postmaster would carry all the Hopewell mail to church 
the next day and leave it on the table, and every one could 
get his own mail. All the mail for north Mecklenburg and 
South Iredell for one week's distribution, was carried in one 
mail sack — about a peck. But few persons went to the office, 
nearly every person wrote by some one going in that direc- 
tion. People in the olden time were very accommodating — 
mere so than now. 

Dime novels were then unknown, and it is more than prob- 
able there was nothing lost in that respect. Books at that 
time were scarce and high. There was no room for cheap 
novels then. Political papers of a high order could be had — 
that is, weekly papers ; but they cost high. Educated gentle- 
men had pretty fair libraries, but they were few and far be- 



376 HISTORY OF 

tween. A cultured gentleman like D. A. Caldwell would 
have a good library. 

For the first 25 years of the Nineteenth Century, newspa- 
pers were exceedingly scarce in the State, not to speak of the 
county. It is more than probable that Charlotte could not 
beast of a paper prior to 1825. Holton's North Carolina 
Whig was established in 1824. The Hornet Nest was pub- 
lished by Badger and Philo Henderson, commencing about 
1848. It lasted several years and gave way for the Western 
Democrat in the early fifties, by R. P. Wearing, who ran it 
successfully until he received a consulate in the Danish West 
Indies, when Mr. W. J. Yates took charge and made it a 
splendid success, both as a newspaper and a business enter- 
prise. E. H. Britten began editing the Bulletin about i860. 
It was kept up till after the war, when bankruptcy over- 
took the whole country. Gen. Hill published his magazine, 
The Land We Love, for several years, and afterwards the 
Southern Home newspaper, which was very spicy and pop- 
ular. About the same time the Observer was started by 
Charles R. Jones, which was well edited for a number of 
years, and wielded considerable influence. This was a big 
stride forward. ' The Bulletin was the first daily, but the 
Observer was an improvement. Mr. Jones' health gave way 
and the paper was run by the stockholders as best they could 
for a few years. Mr. Robert Hayden took charge for some 
time, but in a year or two abandoned the paper, when the 
stockholders secured the present editor, Mr. J. P. Caldwell, 
who has given Mecklenburg the best paper ever published 
in her bounds. He is associated with D. A. Tompkins in 
publishing the paper, with a staff of good reporters, and 
are making a grand success. The Evening News is also 
proving a successful venture, with Mr. W. C. Dowd as edi- 
tor. It now appears to be one of the fixtures which the city 
is proud of. 

The Peoples' Paper, edited by J. P. Sossaman, has been 
running for several years as a free lance, criticising accord- 
ing to how people do. The virtuous are praised and those 



/ 



THE 

PUBLIC 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 377 

who violate the law are condemned. He has a satisfactory 
circulation. 

The Mill Nezvs is ably edited and reaches many readers. 
The Enterprise, a negro paper, has been issued — not regu- 
larly — for a number of years, and is read by the people of 
that race. The organ of the Presbyterian Church of North 
Carolina is published here, and has a backing by the Synod 
of the Presbyterian Church of the State, and it has the best 
opportunity of any in the State. Our town and county is 
admirably supplied with the best of religious and political 
papers, and mill and scientific papers to teach science as ap- 
plied to manufactures, Charlotte has two medical journals 
that will compare favorably with any published in any city 
in America. In the earlier years there was no progress in 
caring for the sick, but what every family could do in look' 
ing after their people. Time has brought many changes, and 
some for the good of our fellow beings. We now have three 
hospitals where forty years ago we had only a temporary 
shelter for soldiers, we now have such pleasant quarters that 
some of our most refined ladies cheerfully accept a ward in 
the hospitals to bring their sick. 

There are two elegant hospitals in use here for the white 
people, and one for the colored people. Both have the latest 
appointments with the most skillful physicians and well- 
trained nurses. Discoveries in medicine and surgical appli- 
ances, and the microscope have all yielded benefits to suffer- 
ing humanity. 

The first railroad in the county, Columbia & Charlotte, 
was finished in 1852. A big celebration and barbecue with 
speaking was the order of the day. In 1856 the railroad 
from Goldsboro to Charlotte was finished. Until this road 
was finished, the Democratic party was opposed to all inter- 
nal improvements by State taxation ; but they were not op- 
posed to individuals subscribing to public works. The State 
took no stock in the Charlotte & Columbia railroad. Many 
Democrats laughed at the idea of building a railroad that 



378 HISTORY OF 

would not have more than two train loads a year, one in the 
fall and one in the spring! 

The road from Wilmington to Lincolnton and on up the 
mountains, has been in operation since 1875, or there abouts. 
The road to Statesville or Taylorsville was put in running 
order soon after the war, the iron having been taken up to 
build the road from Greensboro to Danville during the war, 
as a necessary war measure. In the latter part of the seventh 
decade — about 1876 or 1877, the road was completed to At- 
lanta. The county paid $300,000 to build the Atlanta and 
Statesville roads. The county has made wonderful pro- 
gress in the last twenty-five years, and has at least doubled 
her population. 

In the last twenty-five years the bicycle has made its ap- 
pearance, and is in use in all parts of the world. There ap- 
pears no valid reason why it may not be a fixture to stay. 
It is now used by both sexes to visit the metropolis, in all 
sections of the county. The depots and repair shops now 
indicate their common use, and the price having come down 
within the reach of all, there is no reason why every one 
should not ride a wheel, wherever the roads will admit it. 

MERCHANTS IN 185O-I9OO. 

A half century ago the stores were dry goods establish- 
ments. If a man wished to carry a variety of goods, they 
were all in one house. H. B. & L. S. Williams kept in the 
south corner of the public square, now occupied by the Car- 
olina Clothing Company. It was a fair sample of the stores. 
They carried a general assortment of dry goods, a few sacks 
of coffee, sugar, molasses, cheese and tea. Loaf sugar, 
moulded in cone shape, wrapped in blue paper, tied with 
twine and hung overhead — this was the only kind considered 
good enough to sweeten "bought" tea. They also had vast 
quantities of yarn, hung overhead. This was in "bunches," 
five pounds, ranging from 400, the coarsest, on up to 1,000 
or 1,200, the finest. But little or no negro cloth was brought 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 379 

on by merchants. It was all spun and woven at home, both 
for summer and winter wear. The plain wool hats to wear 
for every day were made by hatters in every neighborhood. 
The merchants fifty years ago kept finer goods than they do 
now. Broadcloth sold — a good article — at $15.00 per yard, 
and a silk dress equally as high. When the merchants, or 
any one else wanted to borrow money, they applied to their 
country friends, where they would not be turned down. 
When the railroad got to town the merchants multiplied. 
Ready-made clothing first made its appearance with the ad- 
vent of Levi Drucker. The Israelites followed close on the 
coming of the railroads. They have proved amongst our 
best citizens. 

The city has grown so that it would not be recognized as 
the same place if visited by persons who liveed here a half 
century ago. Among the active men who took part here 
fifty years ago we mention Leroy Springs, William David- 
son, W. W. Elms, H. B. Williams, John Irwin, David Parks, 
Sam Harris, Richard Carson, John A. Young, T. H. Brem, 
and men of a more recent date, who were very active — T. L. 
Alexander, William Johnston, A. B. Davidson, R. Y. Mc- 
Aden, J. Y. Brice, S. P. Alexander, R. M. Oates and many 
more. The town was then only a small village, with streets 
hardly any better than the ordinary big roads. It was com- 
mon for wagons to stall or mire down in the public square. 
The streets were not macadamized, or begun to be paved 
until after the close of the war. Nor were the roads made 
hardly passable for wagons, in the winter time twenty years 
ago. Some expert drivers stayed near the creek west of 
town to drive your load up the fearful Irwin's lane. For 
fifty cents they would land your load up town. 

The chain gang had much to do with the good roads we 
now have in the county. Much of the road was done over 
two or three times before a satisfactory highway was con- 
structed. Much money has been spent for the county's good 
roads, but no one complains of the taxes paid. From the lit- 
tle village we had fifty years ago, we now see the most thriv- 



3S0 HISTORY OF 

ing city in the State, with cotton mills that give employ- 
ment to thousands of hands, and other kinds of mills and 
machinery of every description in full blast. The city and 
its suburbs now numbers over thirty thousand inhabitants, 
which gives employment to truck farmers and dairymen, 
who realize a handsome profit, that formerly were engaged 
in a less profitable business. A general market has been 
built up for everything raised on the farm, and by the ad- 
vancement of Mecklenburg, all the surrounding counties 
have been benefited. Two of the best female colleges in the 
State are largely patronized, having young ladies from sev- 
eral States in attendance. This is a city of elegant churches 
of every denomination, well attended — in all at least thirty 
churches — of elegant structure, besides chapels and tem- 
porary places of worship. 

THE OLD CEMETERY. 

The old cemetery, attached to the First Presbyterian 
Church, was used for a burying ground since the present 
site of the town was laid off, or soon afterwards. The old 
graveyard east of the city was discontinued soon after the 
town was located. The elder Polks and Barnetts and others 
whose names have become dim cr obliterated, a mile and a 
half east of the town, have many of their posterity and com- 
peers laid to rest in what is now called "the old cemetery" 
in Charlotte. For a little over one hundred years this grave- 
yard was the common place of sepulture. When the en- 
closure (walled in with brick) was filled with the dead, a 
new burying ground was laid off and inclosed, known as 
Elmwood, on the northwest side of the city. It is hand- 
somely kept, a beautiful city of the dead. How soon is the 
old one forgotten! Many patriots of the Revolutionary 
War are sleeping there — Col. Thomas Polk, Dr. Ephraim 
Brevard. Gen. George Graham and many others of more 
than ordinary fame. But such is life. Many of the old 
graveyards have been woefully neglected, and the private 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 381 

yards in Mecklenburg are no exception. It is only within 
the last forty years that the civilization of the present has 
ripened up into flowers, blooming for the blushing bride, and 
all the holiday attire of schools and appropriately for tem- 
ples of worship ; but especially for those who defended our 
course in the late war of Constitutional Liberty. 

When Governor Vance last appeared before a Charlotte 
audience, although too feeble to speak, showers of bouquets 
were thrown around his seat, indicative of the Easter 
morning that awaited him, when he should have completed 
his course of incessant labor for his people of North Caro- 
lina. Decorating the graves of our dead is a beautiful cus- 
tom. 

Fifty years ago wild game was abundant of every kind. 
The deer and wild turkey were found in all parts of the 
county. The red and grey fox could be started with a pack 
of hounds any morning a chase might be desired. A grey 
one would lead the pack from two to four hours, and the red 
would run six to eight hours. When it was known which 
variety was going to lead, one-half of the pack was held in 
reserve until Reynard would lower his brush, which was a 
sure token that his race was nearly run. Fox hunting was 
then considered the gentlemanly sport of the county. If the 
fox should have partaken of a midnight supper of a pig, a 
lamb or a goose, he would make a poor run, lasting not more 
than an hour. The raccoon and opossum were principally 
hunted at night. 

Times have changed and all these species of wild game — 
save the opossum — have disappeared from the county. The 
forests have been cleared, and no place is now left to raise 
their young. The old field rabbit is at home in the broom 
sedge and briar thickets. The appearance is that the rabbit 
will alone occupy the places that formerly were occupied by 
the different varieties that are missing. The birds that forty 
years ago made the woods alive with their voices, are now 
all hushed ; the coveys of doves, larks, yellowhammers and 
black birds are nearly all gone; here and there we see a mock- 



382 HISTORY OF 

ing bird and a jay, a cat bird and a thrush; all are gone save 
the partridge, and it alone is protected by law. The English 
sparrow now occupies the place of all other birds, but has 
been but a late importation, and has a pugnacity that well 
becomes the English, for the Anglo-Saxon will not tolerate 
a rival. 

In this good year 1902, it is well for us to take a look 
backwards and see what our county population was one hun- 
dred years ago, and what it was when the century was 
finished. 

In 1800 it was 10,439, m 181 o ft was l 4> 2 7 2 > m J 820 it 
was 16,895, m 1 %Z° ft was 2 °>°73, m J 840 it was 18,273, m 
1850 it was 13,914, in i860 it was 17,374, in 1870 it was 
24,298, in 1880 it was 34,175, in 1890 it was 42,673, in 
1900 it was 55,261. 

In the decade from. 1845 t0 l %55i there was a vast emigra- 
tion. Both before and after these dates the move was very 
considerable. Large numbers of slaves were sent to raise 
cotton on the fertile lands of the southwest. By the year 
1870 the tide of emigration was turned, and the best element 
poured into Mecklenburg from all directions. Charlotte and 
the suburbs has a population now estimated at 35,000. The 
rapid growth is not of the boom character, but it is solid. 
She is constantly lengthening her cords and strengthening 
her stakes, and bids fair to be one of the largest inland cities 
of our Southland. Why should our city not be an empo- 
rium? No city or town has a finer back country to draw 
from. The county is full of gold and copper and iron ores. 
One of the three metals can be found on every mile of ter- 
ritory, and in many places in quantities that will pay to 
work. The company now engaged in extracting the gold 
from the sands of the Catawba river have certainly got a 
bonanza that pays the company most handsomely. 

Scarcely a farm in the county but what has unmistakable 
signs of gold, copper or iron. This is an inviting field for 
an expert, and awaits his coming with much solicitude. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 383 

HOW MECKLENBURG HAS SUFFERED. 

For the last fifty )ears this county has offered advantages 
to the educated classes that other sections of the State have 
not been able to compete with in all the different branches of 
learning 1 . Her schools have attracted many learned indi- 
viduals who have given us of their store of useful knowl- 
edge, but they have tried to rob us of our priceless treasure, 
the Declaration of Independence on the 20th of May, 1775. 
We have a large population of learned preachers, lawyers 
and scientific men who deny the truth of those immortal 
signers, notwithstanding one was a minister of the Gospel 
and nine others were elders in the Presbyterian Church, and 
was witnessed by a great number of the best people in all 
this section of country; two, if not more of the witnesses, 
were young men who achieved a reputation for patriot- 
ism and learning, coextensive with the State, Maj. Gen. 
Joseph Graham and Rev. Humphrey Hunter. These were 
conspicuous figures who were present at the meeting of the 
great committee on the 20th of May, 1775. It is strange 
that men, not of our State, not of Mecklenburg county, 
should move here and enjoy the blessings of our county, 
reap the magnificent rewards as teachers in our schools and 
colleges, fill pulpits of our churches, occupy exalted places 
in our courts and legislature, and then deny the chiefest dia- 
dem in our crown of liberty and independence. "He who 
steals my purse steals trash; 'twas mine, 'tis his, and has 
been slave to thousands; but he who filches from me my 
good name, robs me of that which enriches him not, but 
leaves me poor indeed." 

North Carolina has been regarded as a "strip of land 
lying between two States," fit only to furnish material for 
history, that may garland the brows of her sisters. Vir- 
ginia and South Carolina have enough to be proud of, and 
we would be unworthy of our illustrious ancestors if we 
would tamely submit to such robbery, while we have such 
abundant proof of all the facts ever claimed, to establish the 



384 HISTORY OF 

validity of the memorable declaration put forth on the 20th 
of May, 1775. Many persons, natives of other States, who 
have found a home within the bounds of Mecklenburg, are 
not willing for us to hold that which belongs to us not only 
by right of inheritance, but by priority of date. Before 
1 8 19 not a whisper was heard against Mecklenburg being 
the birthplace of liberty, but now we see men in every walk 
of life who have an itching desire to tarnish the honors of 
Mecklenburg's old heroes, rather than accord the dues to 
whom they belong. Strangers have shown a strong desire 
to write a history of the county, but for reasons not given, 
their works have never seen the light. 



APPENDIX. 



Extranet From Lyma.n Draper's Notes. 

Signers of Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. 

GEN. THOMAS POLK. 

The original names of the ancestors of the Polks of Meck- 
lenburg was Muirhead, whence it was changed to Pulloak, 
then to Pollock — which by obvious transition, assumed its 
present — as is evident by the will of Magdalen Polk, dated 
1723, preserved among the records of the Orphans' Court 
of Summerset County, Md. 

The traditions of the Greeks and Romans were not more 
quaint and curious as to the origin of their heroes than are 
those of many of the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who early 
migrated to the New World. The Polks have had handed 
down to them a tradition running in this wise: 

On a certain great occasion, a way back in the misty past, 
a king of Scotland was marching at the head of an immense 
procession, when a small oak shrub appeared directly in front 
of his majesty, to which one of the king's attendants, by the 
name of Muirhead, a man of great physical strength, sprang 
forward, and with a Herculean effort, tore it up by the roots 
and bore it out of the way. Such an act of gallantry 
prompted the king to order a halt, when he knighted Muir- 
head upon the spot, and changed his name to Pulloak — 
pull-oak. Another tradition is related of the same person. 
An enormous size and vicious wild boar inhabited that re- 
gion, a terror to all who came within his range. A reward 
was offered by the king to any one who would rid the coun- 
try of the dreaded monster. Pulloak determined to try it 
single-handed. Armed only with a bow and arrows, he sal- 



386 HISTORY OF 

lied forth on the dangerous adventure. One version of the 
story is that when the wild boar discovered his pursuer, he 
rushed towards the bold hunter, who climbed an oak tree, 
and from its branches he shot the fierce animal. Another 
version of the story is that, pursued by the enraged boar, 
Pulloak sprang through an old church window, the boar 
after him; but Pulloak instantly darted out of the door and 
shut it quickly, and managed to close the window, and then 
quietly returned home. His neighbors were not a little 
surprised at his safe return. In response to their expressions 
of astonishment, he effected equal surprise, saying with non- 
chalance, truly a bit of a pig had the hardihood to run at 
him. when he seized it by the tail and threw it into the church 
window, where they might go and satisfy themselves of the 
fact. At length some of the more courageous of the number 
sallied forth to see the game of the forester, and were aston- 
ished beyond measure when they discovered the "bit of a pig" 
was none other than the dreaded wild boar for whose taking 
off the king had offered the large reward. Some of those 
present argued that Pulloak was more than a Sampson, and 
must have been imbued with supernatural aid. And as an 
additional evidence of his fearlessness, he boldly advanced, 
and shot the enraged animal through one of the windows. 

The hero of the exploit, as the tradition goes, kept his 
own counsel and it was many a long year before he saw fit 
to divulge the manner of his getting so dangerous a beast into 
the church alone and single handed. The coat of arms of the 
Polk family is no doubt derived from the latter tradition — 
"Polloak, Bar't, Scotch; a boar, passant, pierced by an ar- 
row.'' Motto: Audacter et strenne — Boldly and readily. 
The boar is represented with elevated bristles and angered 
mien, transfixed with an arrow. 

To aid in ameliorating the natural turbulence of the Irish 
character, James I. encouraged a large emigration into Ire- 
land, and among those who settled in that part of Ulster 
known as Donnegal, was the family of Pollocks. Robert, a 
sen of the elder Pollock, took an active part in the wars 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 387 

against Charles I. and fought side by side with Cromwell 
against the Royalists, under Rupert. The powder-horn 
worn by Robert Pollock during the civil wars is now in pos- 
session of Col. W. H. Pollock. 

Returning home he married Margarette Tasker, the 
widow of Col. Porter, and heiress of Mo, a beautiful estate 
near the town of Giffoard; whose father, Col. Porter, a 
chancellor of Ireland, had been an eminent man in his day. 

Robert and Magdaline Pollock reared six sons and two 
daughters. The father and sons obtained grants of land in 
Maryland from Lord Baltimore. John Pollock, or Polk — 
the eldest son — in 1685, settled at a place called Locust 
Hammock, in Summerset county, on the eastern shore of 
Maryland. Thither parents and children migrated at an 
early period, and became prominent and useful settlers in 
the colony. 

John Polk, who first married and 

for his second wife Joanna Knox, died in 1707, leaving two 
children, William and Nancy. 

William, Priscilla, Robert and Thomas Polk, the subject 
of this sketch, and the eldest of eight children, was born in 
Summerset county, Maryland, about 1730. His father 
moved to the neighborhood of Carlisle, Cumberland county, 
in 1750, then a newly settled region of Pennsylvania, fast 
filling up with hardy Scotch-Irish emigrants. 

Thomas Polk's early educational advantages must have 
been quite respectable for that day, since he fitted himself 
for the occupation of surveyor; and on attaining the age of 
manhood, and learning of the new settlement along the Ca- 
tawba Valley, since known as Mecklenburg, he directed his 
course thither, about the commencement of the border trou- 
ble of 1 754-' 55, the Indian outbreak incited by French 
influence extending from the frontiers of New Hampshire to 
the back settlements of the Carolinas. 

Thomas Spratt is said to have been the first man who 
moved his family on wheels across the Yadkin, stopping a 
while on Rocky river, and then settling within the present 



388 HISTORY OF 

limits of Charlotte. Thomas Polk, when he arrived at 
Thomas Spratt's, had only a knapsack on his back and a 
goodly share of indomitable enterprise. He soon married 
Susanna Spratt, the daughter of this early settler, and their 
son, William, who distinguished himself in the Revolutionary 
war, was born in Mecklenburg county in 1758. During the 
period of 1756 to 1760, there were some Indian troubles on 
the Catawba and Yadkin frontiers; and it may well be sup- 
posed that Thomas Polk here learned some of those lessons 
of bravery and leadership which he displayed so creditably 
during the subsequent years of the Revolutionary war. The 
characteristics of the pioneer settlers of Mecklenburg are well 
described by an aged native of that region, whose clear mem- 
ory reaches back into the close of the last century. They 
were, he says, strong in body, strong in mind, brave, and 
patriotic. 

They were driven by persecution from Scotland and Ire- 
land, and were called Scotch-Irish. 

They were determined to have liberty or have death. They 
lived far from market and had few luxuries. Those who 
could afford it had coffee for breakfast on Sunday morning, 
before they went to church, but at no other time. Though 
they lived plainly, they lived abundantly. The land was 
rich, producing all manner of grain, stock always plenty and 
always fat. The women were the best of cooks; no negroes 
then ; no cotton, no drunkards, no thieves; no locks on dwell- 
ings, corn crib or smokehouses. The hardest time of the 
year was to harvest their crops. Then all through winter 
they had little to do but to attend their stock, pay and re- 
ceive visits. Happy days ! 

Thomas Polk was originally a surveyor, says Dr. Johnson 
in his traditions of the revolution in the Southwestern part 
of North Carolina; his education was not acquired within 
the classic walls of a college, but partially obtained at in- 
tervals from his occupations in hills, valleys and forests of 
the province. 

Then he became universally known and respected, no> man 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 389 

possessing more influence in that part of North Carolina. 
As early as 1770 he was one of the two representatives 
of Mecklenburg county in the popular house of the Legisla- 
ture, and in Tune, 1772, he was employed by Gov. Martin as 
surveyor in running the western extension of the boundary 
line between North and South Carolina. As indicative of 
the independent spirit of the people in opposing royal en- 
croachments on their rights, the popular house in February, 
1773, refused to vote an appropriation of £172 ios.to pay the 
claim of surveyor for running the line, even though so popu- 
lar a man of the people, and a former member of the house, 
as Capt. Polk, contending that the previous Assembly had 
expressed its sense of injury that accrued to the colony by 
fixing the line as proposed by the Governor. 

At the breaking out of the Revolution, Thomas Polk was 
the colonel of the militia, and the most popular man in Meck- 
lenburg, and all his influence was exerted in behalf of the 
popular cause. 

It is apparent from Jones' defense of the Revolutionary 
history of North Carolina, and from the statements of some 
of the aged men with reference to the Mecklenburg resolves 
of May 20, 1775, that he had the principal agency in calling 
the convention of which he was a conspicuous member and 
popular leader of the people. Foote adds that he was well 
known and well acquainted in the surrounding counties, a 
man of great excellence and merited popularity. He was also 
one of the Mecklenburg members of the Provincial Congress 
that held sessions atHillsboro during August and September, 
1775, and served on important committees — one to prepare 
a plan for the regulation of internal peace, order, and safety 
of the Province. On September 9, 1775, he was appointed 
by the Provincial Congress colonel of the militia of Meck- 
lenburer.and in November and December following, marched 
at the head of six companies, aggregating three hundred 
men, into the Southeastern part of South Carolina to aid in 
suppressing an outbreak of the Tories in that quarter. Some 
300 pounds of powder was supplied by the authorities of 



390 HISTORY OF 

North Carolina for the use of his troops against the insur- 
gents near Ninety-Six. It was a hard service with some 
fighting. The Tories were subdued and many made pris- 
oners, and in consequence of a heavy snow fall, it was called 
the snow campaign. This service was all the more credita- 
ble since it was to serve a neighboring Province in suppress- 
ing a dangerous insurrection, and Col. Richardson, the 
South Carolina commander, was directed to take Col. Polk's 
men into the pay of the colony for the expedition, and ten- 
der them the thanks of the South Carolina Council of Safety 
with the assurance that "the service of those good neigh- 
bors" would ever be held in grateful remembrance. 

In December, while absent on this service, he was ap- 
pointed colonel of the Second of the two regiments of Minute 
Men, ordered to be raised in the district of Salisbury, com- 
posed of Rowan, Mecklenburg, Tryon and Surry counties. 
He had been but a brief period returned from South Caro- 
lina when he was called to lead his regiment against the Tory 
Highlanders on the Cape Fear in February, 1776, and reach- 
ing Cross Creek, now Fayette ville, received intelligence of 
the decisive victory of Caswell and Lillington over the in- 
surgents, and returned home. 

In April, he was recommended by the Provincial Con- 
gress to the command of the Fourth of the six Continental 
regiments, which the Continental Congress confirmed early 
in May; and the same month he was ordered with his regi- 
ment to join Gen. Moore at Cape Fear. The six Continental 
regiments finally rendezvoused at Wilmington, from which 
at least a portion were ordered in June to the defence of 
Charleston, Polk's regiment being of the number. But a 
single regiment of the North Carolinians, Clarke's, appears 
to have had any active part in repelling the enemy from 
Charleston. This service ended, the North Carolina Conti- 
nentals seem to have returned to their old camp at Wilming- 
ton, and drilled and perfected themselves during the sum- 
mer and autumn, when they were marched into South Caro- 
lina. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 391 

In February, 1777, Francis Nash, who had just been 
promoted to a brigadier, was ordered by the Continental 
Congress to use his influence in the western part of North 
Carolina to stimulate the filling up of the Continental regi- 
ments, and march the ensuing month to join Gen. Washing- 
ton. 

Major William Lee Davidson, of Polk's regiment, 
marched with the North Carolina line, but it is not apparent 
that Col. Polk himself engaged in the service. It is probable 
that inasmuch as the Continental regiments were deficient 
in numbers, there were only enough of Polk's to form a 
major's command. 

From this time to the fall of Charleston, in May, 1780, 
was comparatively a quiet period in North Carolina. 

In 1777 Liberty Hall Academy was established in Char- 
lotte on grounds and improvements purchased by Col. Polk, 
and he was made one of the trustees. Thus were means for 
public education provided and sustained, until the institution 
was suspended by the subsequent British invasion of the 
country. In 1780, Col. Polk had troops at Charlotte guard- 
ing the public magazines, which were removed when the en- 
emy approached in September of the same year. He acted 
as Commissary General of supplies both for the North 
Carolina troops and the Continentals under Gen. Yates (Lee 
Paper N. Y. Hist. Society, p. 145), and there was some com- 
plaint for inattention to duty on his part in his important 
office, which he explained upon the ground of scarcity of 
supplies and necessary attention to his family. 

Col. Alexander Martin, a member of the State Board of 
War, to which Col. Polk was amenable, having visited the 
army of Mecklenburg, declares in a public letter recorded in 
the journal of the board, that in his opinion Col. Polk had 
fulfilled the duties of his office as well as circumstances 
would admit. 

During Cornwallis' occupancy of the country. Col. Polk 
had necessarily to retire from Charlotte, and his residence 
became the headquarters of the British general. An origi- 



392 HISTORY OF 

rial letter written by him at this period to the North Carolina 
Board of War is in possession of Col. J. H. Wheeler, viz. : 

"Camp Yadkin River, Oct. n, 1780. 
"Gentlemen ; — I have the pleasure to inform you that 
on Saturday last the noted Col. Ferguson, with 150 men, 
fell on King's Mountain ;8oo taken prisoners, with 150 stand 
of arms. Cleveland and Campbell commanded. Glorious 
affair. In a few days doubt not we shall be in Charlotte, and 
I will take possession of my house and his lordship take the 
woods. 

I am gentlemen, with respect. 

Your humble servant, 

Thomas Polk/' 

How such a man as Col. Polk should have been under a 
cloud of distrust even for a short time, as Lossing states, is 
a little marvelous; yet some mischief-making person must 
have invented a "suspicion that he had accepted of protection 
from the British," and reported it to Gates, who turned from 
his late defeat and the recent treachery of Arnold, readily 
surmised "suspicious circumstances" and ordered Col. Polk 
to Salisbury to answer for his conduct. So utterly baseless 
were those cruel suspicions that they were promptly dis- 
missed, and Col. Polk was continued in his double office of 
Commissary General of provisions for the State of North 
Carolina and commissary of purchases for the Continental 
troops. The very first night that Gen. Greene, having suc- 
ceeded Gates, passed at headquarters early in December, he 
spent with Col. Polk in studying the resources of the coun- 
try, and by "the following morning," said Polk to Elkanah 
Watson, "he better understood them than Gates had done 
during the whole period of his command." The Mecklen- 
burg region had been the granary of provisions for the 
Americans for the whole season, and for the British for a 
short season, the latter demanding heavy supplies; accord- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 393 

ing to Stedman, their Commissary General demanding ioo 
cattle per day. 

The country was, therefore, so much exhausted that Col. 
Polk, who still acted as commissary from patriotic motives, 
declared that it could scarcely afford subsistance for a single 
week. It was with regret that Gen. Greene learned from him 
that many reasons conspired, rendering it necessary for him 
to relinquish the office. "I am now too far advanced in years 
to undergo the task and fatigue of a Commissary General," 
wrote Polk to Greene on December ioth. On the same day 
Greene wrote to Col. Wm, R. Davie inviting him to that 
position, saying "Col. Polk finds the business of subsisting 
the army too laborious and difficult for him to conduct, and, 
therefore, has sent in his resignation to the Board of War, 
but the greatest difficulty with him is, he cannot leave 
home owing to the peculiar state of his family." Dr. John- 
son has presented in his traditions of the Revolution the fol- 
lowing letter : 

"Camp Charlotte, Dec. 15, 1780. 
"To Col. Polk: 

Sir : — I find it will be impossible to leave camp as early 
as I intended, as Col. Kascius has made no report respecting 
a position upon Pee Dee. I must, therefore, beg you to con- 
tinue the daily supplies of the army, and keep in readiness 
three days' provisions beforehand. I have just received 
some intelligence from Gov. Nash and from Congress which 
makes me wish to see you. I am, etc., 

"Nathan Greene." 

There is proof that Gen. Greene had such unlimited con- 
fidence in Col. Polk that he wished to confide in him intelli- 
gence that he did not wish to write. Before retiring from 
scvice on Gen. Greene's appeal, he exerted himself to pro- 
cure lumber for the barracks at the new position selected for 
the army on Hicks' creek nearly opposite Cheraw Hill, on 
the Pee Dee; to build boats for the transportation of stores; 



394 HISTORY OF 

to collect provisions, and do everything that could be done 
to enable the new commander to prepare his men for the 
active duties of the coming campaign. 

Gen. Greene's letters evince a high appreciation of Col. 
Polk's service, and a still higher evidence of his confidence 
in his skill and patriotism may be found in the fact that 
upon the fall of the gallant Gen. Davidson, early in Feb- 
ruary, 1 78 1, Greene appointed Polk to fill the vacancy on 
the recommendation of the officers of the brigade as the 
fittest person for the important position among all the many 
patriotic soldiers of Mecklenburg. 

On the receipt of the news of the battle of Guilford, it 
was thought Cornwallis would retrace his steps by the way 
of Salisbury and Charlotte, so as to keep open the communi- 
cation and act in concert with Lord Rowdon at Camden; 
and as the citizens of that section had already experienced 
the distress of the presence of the British soldiers, they de- 
termined to do their best to keep the enemy at a distance. 

Gen. Polk accordingly ordered out the next division of 
militia liable for duty, with a view of marching to Salisbury 
to fortify the fords and passes on the Yadkin, but before 
reaching there intelligence was received that the British 
were directing their course towards Fayetteville, when Col. 
Polk dismissed his men and returned. 

Gen. Greene re-entered South Carolina in April, taking 
position before Camden. He called upon North Carolina 
for a draft of three months' men, when Col. Polk exerted 
himself to meet the demands of the occasion, and led a con- 
siderable force of his countrymen, and joined Greene at 
Rugeley's Mills shortly after the battle at Hobkirk's Hill, 
and remained in that border region, watching and checking 
the British and Tories in both Carolinas, until the expira- 
tion of the term of service for which his men had been 
drafted. This appears to have been Col. Polk's last mili- 
tary service. Gov. Graham well observes that when placed 
in command as Brigadier General, "in all after, as in prior 
times, he was regarded as an unwavering patriot." 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 395 

Gen. Polk now retired to private life, which with his ad- 
vancing - years, he yearned to enjoy. After Rutherford's ex- 
pedition in the autumn of 1781, in pursuit of a body of 
Tories under McNeil and other Tory leaders, peace was 
practically restored in North Carolina. 

He owned mills two miles south of Charlotte, and kept a 
store in the village, and was now enabled to give his un- 
divided time to his private affairs. 

Elkanah Watson, in his "Men and Times of the Revolu- 
tion," who visited Charlotte in 1785, states: "I carried let- 
ters to the courteous Gen. Polk, and remained two days at 
his residence in the delightful society of his charming fam- 
ily." 

After the war, when the disbanded soldiers of the North 
Carolina line received their land warrants in payment for 
their military services, Gen. Polk purchased many of these 
warrants and went, early in 1786, with his four sons, armed 
with their rifles, into the wilderness of Duck River county, 
in Middle Tennessee, to locate them, Col. Wm. Polk having 
been chosen in 1793 one of the principal surveyors. Re- 
suming his original profession of surveyor, Gen. Polk 
selected the finest lands in that rich valley, ran the line, 
marked them, and secured the titles, notwithstanding the 
hostility of the Indians. So when he died in 1793, he left 
a rich inheritance in lands for his children. "He was," says 
Dr. J. G. Ramsey, "a high-souled cavalier, full of dash and 
courage; rich, hospitable, and charming." Dr. Johnson re- 
lates that several of his children were wild and frolicksome 
— one bore the sobriquet of "Devil Charley" — ; that on one 
occasion the General was speaking of the boldness of single 
highway robbery, and declared that no single man would 
dare make such an attempt on him. The sons all heard it, 
and Charley resolved to have his fun, even at his father's ex- 
pense. So when his father was returning on a by-road with 
a sum of money he had been collecting, the reckless son, dis- 
guised, waylaid him in a creek bottom and demanded the in- 
stant delivery of his money. The General's first thought 



396 HISTORY OF 

was to snatch up his pistols, but Charles was too quick for 
him, and seeing a pistol, as he supposed, presented at his 
breast, the father gave up his money and returned home not 
a little fretted and mortified at the result. Perceiving his 
depression of spirits, the young men enquired into the cause 
and offered their aid in any difficulties. He frankly told 
them he had been robbed of such a sum of money, designat- 
ing the place. They all expressed surprise, and enquired if 
he were not armed. He acknowledged that he had his pis- 
tols, but had not had time to use them. When they con- 
cluded that there must have been several highwaymen banded 
together to> have effected their purpose, he, with increased 
mortification, confessed that there was but one; but added 
that he was off his guard, and was taken by surprise. Charles 
at this point returned the money, acknowledging that he had 
taken it from him. "What!" exclaimed the General, "Did 
you endanger your father's life?" "No, sir," said Charles. 
"What, did you not present a pistol at my breast?" "No, 
sir," replied the son. "How can you say that?" asked the 
father. "I assure you, sir, it was only my mother's brass 
candlestick that I took off from your own mantlepiece." 

Of Col. Polk's three daughters, Margaret married Dr. 
Ephraim Brevard, whose name is so intimately associated 
with the Mecklenburg Convention and famous resolves of 
May 20, 1775. She died early and left an only daughter, 
Margaret Polk, who became the wife of Nathaniel Alexan- 
der, a native of Mecklenburg, who graduated at Princeton in 
1776, and after studying medicine, entered the army, served 
in the House of Commons in 1797, in the State Senate in 
1 801 and 1802, and, while holding a seat in Congress in 
i8o3~'5, he was chosen by the Legislature Governor of the 
State, serving two years. He died at Charlotte November 8, 
1808, at the age of 52 years, . leaving no children. Gen. 
Polk's third daughter married a man named Brown, leaving 
no issue. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 397 

CHAPTER II. 

COE. ABRAHAM ALEXANDER. 

The Alexanders were very numerous at the time of the 
Revolution and since in Mecklenburg, and although of the 
same original Scotch-Irish stock, they were of different de- 
grees of consanguinity. Hezekiah and John McKnitt Alex- 
ander were brothers; while Abraham, Adam, Charles and 
Ezra Alaxander were their cousins. (See Mans. Letters of 
Dr. J. G. M. Ramsay, October 2, 1875.) 

Foote relates that, among Presbyterian emigrations from 
Scotland to Ireland, to escape persecution for conscience's 
sake, during the period between 1610 and 1688, there were 
seven brothers bearing the same name of Alexander. 

But their grievances increasing a few years preceding the 
Revolution of 1688, their ministers imprisoned for holding 
fasts, the Alexanders resolved to seek quiet and repose in 
the New World. On the eve of their departure, they sent 
to Scotland for their old preacher to baptize their children 
and administer to them the consolations of the Gospel. The 
faithful and fearless preacher arrived in time to meet the 
friends on the vessel on which they had embarked, and there 
held becoming religious services. An armed company now 
came on board, broke up the meeting and lodged the minis- 
ter in jail. Towards night an old matron addressed her 
kinsman : "Men gang ye away tak' our minister out o' the 
jail, and tak' him, guide soule, wi' us till Ameriky." Her 
commands had never been disobeyed. Before morning the 
minister was on board and the vessel had proceeded on its 
voyage. The minister having no family, cheerfully con- 
sented to the arrangement, and with joy and thanksgiving 
they landed safely on Manhattan. Part of the company re- 
mained there, from whom it is related Wm. Alexander, 
commonly known as Lord Sterling, a Major General of the 
Revolution, descended. The others took up their abode for 
a time in New Jersey ; then settled in part, perhaps, in Cecil 



39^ HISTORY OF 

county, Aid., and others in Pennsylvania. There they 
mingled with their countrymen, intermarried, and their de- 
scendants in great numbers migrated to the Catawba country, 
following the great valley of Virginia from Pennsylvania 
and Maryland. This movement began slowly about 1745, 
and more rapidly from 1750 onward. Maj. Thomas Alex- 
ander and Dan Alexander, both soldiers of the Revolution, 
were natives of Mecklenburg, the former having been born 
in 1753, the latter in 1758. Abraham Alexander was among 
those early emigrants. He was born, apparently, in Cecil 
county, Md., in 171 7, and migrated early to the Catawba 
country ; soon attained a prominent position among the pio- 
neer settlers. He was long a leading magistrate of his 
county, and the honored chairman of the Inferior Court 
both before and during the Revolution. With Col. Thomas 
Polk, he represented Mecklenburg in the Assembly in 1771, 
and ranked among the leading Whigs of that day. He 
seemed, however, not to have been ambitious for honor and 
place, for he declined at the next election to solicit the suf- 
frage of the people. He is next found presiding at the Meck- 
lenburg Convention of May 20, 1775, and was active during 
the whole period of the Revolution, both as member of the 
Justice Court and as chairman of the Committee of Safety. 
He was, in 1777, appointed as one of the original trustees of 
Liberty Hall Academy, and was for many years an elder in 
the Presbyterian Church. He died April 28, 1778, in the 
69th year of his age, and his widow, Dorcas, survived till 
May 28th, when she passed away in her 67th year, and her 
remains rest beside those of her husband in the old Sugar 
Creek burial ground. They had five sons and one daughter — 
Abraham, Isaac, Nathaniel, Elias and Joab. Isaac became 
a distinguished physician, and settled inCamden, S. C, while 
his brothers spent their days as tillers of the soil. Eliza- 
beth, the sister, became the wife of William Alexander, son 
of Hezekiah Alexander. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 399 

DR. EPHRAIM BREVARD. 

The earliest known Brevard was a French Huguenot, 
leaving his native land on the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes, and settling among the Scotch-Irish in the northern 
part of Ireland, where he formed an acquaintance with a 
family of McKnitts, in company with whom he sailed for 
America. Among the McKnitt emigrants was a blooming 
lassie, who may have had quite as much to do in attracting 
his attention as the cheap lands and glowing accounts of the 
New World. A mutual attachment sprang up, which even- 
tuated in marriage. They settled on the waters of Elk 
River, Cecil county, in the northeastern corner of Maryland, 
bordering on Pennsylvania. Five sons and one daughter 
were the issue of this union, of whom John, Robert, Zebulon 
and their married sister and husband migrated to the Yad- 
kin and Catawba country about 1747, and settled in what 
was subsequently Rowan, and since Iredell county. 

Some years prior to this removal, John Brevard, the elder 
of the brothers, had married Jane McWhirter, a sister of Dr. 
Alex McWhirter, of Scotch-Irish extraction, of the adjoin- 
ing county of New Castle, Delaware; and their fifth child 
and eldest son, Ephraim, was born in 1744 in Cecil county, 
Maryland, and was only about three years old when his 
parents removed to the wilds of North Carolina, settling in 
what subsequently became Iredell county. While a boy he 
had the misfortune to lose one of his eyes, and after attend- 
ing a classical school near his father's residence, he was sent, 
on the conclusion of the Indian war in 1761, with his cousin, 
Adlai Osborne, to attend a grammar school in Prince Ed- 
ward county, Virginia, under William Capples. The young 
men, with Thomas Reese, entered Princeton college in 1766, 
graduating in 1768. Reese and Brevard taught school some 
time in Maryland, which enabled Brevard to put himself un- 
der the tuition of Dr. David Ramsay, subsequently so cele- 
brated in civil life during the Revolution and as an historian 
after the war. After pursuing his medical studies some 



400 HISTORY OF 

time in Philadelphia, Dr. Ramsay removed to Somerset 
county, Maryland. Brevard accompanied him there, and 
after a due course there, he commenced the practice of his 
profession in Charlotte. Possessed of more than common 
abilities, well cultured under the instructions of Dr. With- 
erspoon, Dr. Ramsay and others, and of prepossessing 
manners, he at once took a prominent position and exerted 
a large influence among the Mecklenburg people. He was 
soon united in marriage with a daughter of Col. Thomas 
Polk, who died leaving him an only daughter. The distin- 
guished part he acted in the Mecklenburg Convention of 
May 20, 1775, as a member, the secretary, and the reputed 
author of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 
Resolves of May 20, 1775, will cause his name to ever fill an 
honored place in the record of Western Carolina. Bancroft 
declares tllat his name "should be remembered with honor 
by his countrymen" for having "digested the system which 
was then adopted and formed in effect a Declaration of In- 
dependence, as well as a complete system of government," 
and Gridsby pronounces him an exalted patriot, and as to 
the record of the Resolves, that the beauty of their diction, 
their elegant precision, the wide scope of statesmanship 
which they exhibit, prove incontestibly that the men who put 
them forth was worthy of their high trust at the difficult 
crisis. 

In February, 1776, we find him the tutor of the Queen's 
Museum Academy, with nineteen young men under him, 
whom he led as their captain in Col. Polk's regiment in an 
expedition against Scotch Tories on the Cape Fear. How 
long he continued teaching is not known. 

In 1777, when Liberty Hall Academy was organized, he 
was one of the original trustees, and his name as such is 
appended to a degree given to John Graham in 1778. 

After performing every duty to his people befitting a 
patriot, he entered the Southern army as a surgeon, and was 
captured at the surrender of Charleston in May, 1780. There, 
from long confinement and unwholesome diet, he was taken 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 4OI 

sick, and when at length set at liberty, he reached the home 
of his friend, John McKnitt Alexander, where he lingered for 
several months, his disease baffling the best medical skill — 
Dr. William Read, Physician General to the Southern army, 
visiting him from the hospital at Charlotte. He finally 
breathed his last some time in 1781, at about the age of 37 
years, and his remains were buried beside those of his wife 
in Charlotte on a lot now occupied by the county court house. 
The particular place of his interment is unknown. 

In the language of Dr. Foote, "He thought clearly, felt 
deeply, wrote well, resisted bravely, and died a martyr to 
tl at liberty none loved better and few understood so well." 
He was a man of undoubted genius and talent. (See MS. 
Letters of Rev. R. H. King to Dr. J. G. M. Ramsay, April 9, 
1823.) His only daughter, on arriving at years of woman- 
hood, married a Dickerson, settled at Camden, S. C, and 
left one child, a son, James Polk Dickerson, who was Lieu- 
tenant Colonel of Butler's regiment of South Carolina Vol- 
unteers in the Mexican war; was severely wounded at the 
siege of Vera Cruz March 11, 1847; recovering from that, 
he was again badly wounded at Cherubusco on the 20th of 
August following, and died of his wound three weeks later, 
greatly regretted by his regiment and the whole army. 

COL. ADAM ALEXANDER. 

The place of Col. A. Alexander's birth is not certainly 
known, but he was possibly a native of Cecil county, Mary- 
land, and was born in 1728. He was among the pioneer set- 
tlers of Mecklenburg. He married a Miss Shelby. As early 
as June, 1770, we find him a prominent member of Clear 
Creek congregation, and the next year he commanded a com- 
pany under Gen. Waddell to aid in putting down the Regula- 
tors, who had taken the law in their own hands in upholding 
the usurpations and extortions of Gov. Tryon's favorites. 
That Capt. Alexander was unwilling to shed the blood of his 
oppressed countrymen is readily seen by the course he and 



402 HISTORY OF 

other officers pursued in persuading Waddell to return from 
their camp on Pott's creek across the Yadkin, both on ac- 
count of the superiority of the insurgents, and the unwilling- 
ness of the men to engage them, while waiting for a convoy 
of ammunition under a small guard from Charlotte. A party 
of ten or twelve, under Capt. William Alexander, blackened 
and disguised, seized the convoy and destroyed the powder, 
and ever after he was known as "Black Billy" Alexander. 

Capt. Adam Alexander, on the day of the nth of May, 
immediately after uniting with his brother officers in advis- 
ing a retreat beyond the Yadkin, went in person and recon- 
noitered the Regulators, and returning, reported that he had 
passed along their lines and the footmen appeared to him to 
extend a quarter of a mile, seven or eight deep, and that the 
horsemen, 120 yards, twelve or fourteen deep. On the 19th 
Waddell, with his small force of 250 men, was obliged to 
retreat from his position, two miles eastward of the Yadkin, 
to Salisbury, the Regulators having surrounded his party 
and threatened to cut them to pieces if they offered to join 
the main army under Tryon. But the principal body of the 
insurgents had been defeated on the 16th at Alamance, and 
Tryon marched with his victorious troops to join Waddell, 
then entrenched near Salisbury, eight miles to the eastward 
of the Yadkin. Receiving intelligence that the Regulators 
in the region embracing the present counties of Mecklen- 
burg. Lincoln and Iredell were meditating further hostili- 
ties, Gen. Waddell was sent into that quarter with a strong 
detachment, including the Mecklenburg troops. Early in 
June, with orders, after he had performed the service as- 
signed him, to disband his troops, meeting with no opposi- 
tion, he had little to do beside administering the oath of alle- 
giance to the people. Adam Alexander was many years a 
prominent magistrate and member of the County Court, and 
on May 20, 1775, was one of the members of the Mecklen- 
burg Convention. In September following, he was ap- 
pointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Mecklenburg "Minute 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 403 

Men"' under Col. Polk, and served shortly after in one of the 
Snow Campaigns against the Tories in South Carolina. 

When the "Minute Men" of the Salisbury district were, in 
December, 1775, formed into two groups, he was re-ap- 
pointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Second regiment under 
Col. Polk, and marched, in February, 1776, to aid in quell- 
ing the insurrection of the Highlanders on the Cape Fear. 

In the ensuing April, when Polk was chosen to command 
one of the Continental regiments, Adam Alexander suc- 
ceeded him as Colonel of the Mecklenburg regiments. When 
the Cherokees commencel hostilities early in the summer of 
1776, incited thereto by the machinations of the enemy, Col. 
Alexander led a force to the head of the Catawba, where he 
served six weeks in protecting the Catawba Valley during 
the harvest, and went with his regiment under Gen. Ruth- 
erford, later in the season, on his expedition against the 
treacherous Cherokees, destroying their crops and villages. 

Dr. Caldwell refers to Col. Alexander when President 
Washington made his Southern tour in 1792, as "far ad- 
vanced in life." His death occurred in 1798, at the age of 
70 years, lamented by all who knew him. His remains were 
interred at Rock Springs. Adam Alexander was a man of 
military genius, remarkably endowed. He was a Presbyte- 
rian. 

He had four sons — Evan, Isaac, Adam and Charles, and 
one daughter. She married John Springs. All the Springs 
of Mecklenburg, a large, wealthy and intelligent connection, 
are descendants of Col. Alexander. 

His son, Evan Alexander, whom he sent to Princeton with 
the hope that he would enter the ministry, graduated in 
1787, became a prominent lawyer in Charlotte; was two 
years a member of the Legislature, then representative in 
Congress from 1805 to 1809, and died unmarried October 
28th, in the latter year. 

Isaac Alexander held various offices of trust in the county, 
while his brother Charles occupied the old homestead, mar- 



404 HISTORY OF 



ried a Miss Means, and had several talented sons who died 
young. 

CHAPTER XVII. 

GEN. ROBERT IRWIN. 

William Irwin was one of the early Scotch-Irish set- 
tlers in West Pennsborough, Cumberland county, Penn- 
sylvania, a few miles southeast of Carlisle. His son, Rob- 
ert, the eighth of thirteen children, was born August 26, 
1740, and was reared with few advantages on his native 
homestead. When his father died, not long prior to 
May, 1763. the farm of one hundred acres was pur- 
chased of the heirs at £15 each, by their elder brother, 
John Irwin, and with this Robert Irwin commenced 
life and wended his way to the Steele Creek settle- 
ment in Mecklenburg. He was soon after united in mar- 
riage with Mary Alexander, daughter of Zebulon Alexan- 
der, an early emigrant from Pennsylvania. About the 
period of 1767. Robert Irwin was one of the first bench of 
elders of Steele Creek Church. He was one of the members 
of the Mecklenburg Convention in May, 1775, and thence- 
forward proved himself one of the active leaders of the 
Mecklenburg people during the war. It is altogether prob- 
able he had seen service during the French and Indian war 
on the frontier of Pennsylvania, for Col. Armstrong led 
many a daring force against the Indians during that period 
from the Carlisle region ; and more probably still he was 
employed against the Regulators in 1771, and on the Snow 
Campaign near the close of 1775. After having served as a 
member of the North Carolina Provincial Congress in April 
and May, 1776, he engaged in Gen. Rutherford's campaign 
against the Cherokees during the summer and autumn of 
that year. Returning from this expedition in October, he 
was rechosen to a seat in the Provincial Congress, which met 
in November in the double capacity of making laws and 
forming a new Constitution. On the death of Lieutenant 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 405 

Colonel Phifer, he succeeded him in 1777 as second in com- 
mand of the Mecklenburg militia. 

Gen. Irwin died at his residence in the Steele Creek settle- 
ment, in Mecklenburg county, December 23, 1800, in his.6ist 
year, and was interred in the Steele Creek burial ground, 
his wife's remains occupying the same grave. On his tomb- 
stone is engraved this beautiful and truthful delineation of 
his character: "Great, noble, generous, good, and brave." 

JOHN M'KNITT ALEXANDER. 

Little more can be said of Mr. Alexander than has already 
been indicated. Born in 1733, in Pennsylvania, as stated by 
Dr. Foote, but according to more reliable information, in 
the northeastern portion of Cecil county, Maryland, where 
his father, James Alexander, settled on a tract of land called 
New Minister, in 171 4, where, soon after he married Marga- 
ret McKnitt, a sister of John McKnitt, an early emigrant 
to the southern part of the same county. The father, James 
Alexander, remained in Maryland, surviving till 1779; but 
his son, John McKnitt Alexander, who had served an ap- 
prenticeship to a tailor, migrated in 1754, when 21 years old, 
to Mecklenburg county, accompanied by his brother, Heze- 
kiah, and sister, Jemima, and her husband, Maj. Thomas 
Sharpe, also of Cecil county. In the early days of Mecklen- 
burg, when the deer and buffalo furnished not only viands 
for the table, but a portion of apparel for the people, a 
leather-breeches maker was not probably a sufficiently profit- 
able occupation for the enterprising young Marylander; so 
we soon find him a land surveyor and a large land-holder, 
surveying and taking lands as far away as Chester District, 
in South Carolina, forty miles distant. In 1759, he married 
Jane Bane, from Pennsylvania, of the same Scotch-Irish 
stock with himself, and settled in the Hopewell congrega- 
tion. Enterprising, shrewd, and honorable, he prospered in 
business and became wealthy. Col. Wheeler, in his 
"Sketches of Mecklenburg Delegates," states that Mr. Alex- 



406 HISTORY OF 

ander was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1772, 
while Jones' defence indicates that Martin Phifer and John 
Davidson were the Mecklenburg representatives at that 
time. But his was a busy and useful life in the civil time, 
during the Revolutionary war, long and faithfully serving as 
a magistrate and member of the County Court ; one of the 
members of the Mecklenburg Convention of May. 1775; 
the successor of Dr. Brevard as secretary of the Mecklenburg 
Committee of Safety, and a representative in the Provincial 
Congress in August and September, 1775. The same year 
he visited Philadelphia, where he communicated to Dr. 
Franklin the facts and circumstances of the preceding Meck- 
lenburg Convention, when they were fresh in his memory, 
who expressed his approbation of their act. In April, 1776. 
v/e again find him a member of the Provincial Congress ; in 
the State Senate in 1777, and the same year chosen a trustee 
of Liberty Hall Academy. 

How Mr. Alexander regarded the Red Coats when they 
invaded the soil of Mecklenburg in the fall of 1780, may 
best be seen in the notice of Duncan Ochiltree. It was a 
high compliment to his sterling patriotism that Gen. David- 
son, at that period, named his encampment in Mecklenburg 
"Camp McKnitt Alexander." 

When Cornwallis undertook the vain effort of endeavor- 
ing to recover the Cowpens prisoners from Morgan, early in 
17S1, and Gen. Greene exerted himself to thwart his lord- 
ship's purpose, Mr. Alexander, though his age would have 
excused him from exposure, accompanied Greene as a pilot, 
if not a volunteer aid, and was actively employed in destroy- 
ing, or sinking, ferry boats on the Yadkin and Dan rivers; 
and by his zeal in the cause, his intimate knowledge as an 
old surveyor of the topography of the roads, and people of 
the county, he was able to afford valuable assistance as coun- 
sellor to the American General. 

For many years he was a sturdy Presbyterian, an elder in the 
Church, and a prominent actor in all its public convocations. 
During the closing five or six years of his life he was nearly 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 407 

blind and very infirm; but his children, grand-children and 
numerous friends loved and revered him, and united in 
lamenting his separation from them July 10, 181 7, in the 
85th year of his age. In the graveyard at Hopewell his re- 
mains sleep in peace beside those of his beloved companion. 
He left two sons, William Bane and Dr. Joseph McKnitt 
Alexander ; and of his five daughters, one, Abigail Bane, was 
united in marriage to Rev. S. C. Caldwell ; another to Rev. 
James Wallis, and a third to Col. Francis A. Ramsay, father 
of the worthy historian of Tennessee. As he appeared to 
D. G. Stinson in 181 3, Mr. Alexander was a man of medium 
size, dark skin, with a good intellectual face, neat and tidy 
in his dress; he was very dignified, and had the reputation 
of being a very sensible person. He was quite a politician 
in his day, of the old Federal school — while his son-in-law, 
Rev. James Wallis, was a prominent Democratic leader, 
and was often engaged to deliver political addresses on the 
Fourth of July occasions. 

REV. HEZEKIAH BAECH. 

The Balch family was originally from Wales, and the 
name signifies "proud" in the Welsh language. John Balch 
is said to have emigrated to New England at an early period 
from Bridgewater, in Somerset, England, and became pos- 
sessed of a large property and extensive influence. A great 
grandson of his, Col. James Balch, migrated directly from 
his native England, married Anne Goodwine, and settled on 
Deer Creek, in Harford county, Maryland, where his eldest 
son, Hezekiah, was born in 1746. His father was a man of 
highly gifted and cultivated mind, possessing a fine poetical 
talent, and was the author of some anonymous pieces that 
had no small celebrity in their day. While his son was yet a 
youth, the father moved with his family from Maryland and 
settled in Mecklenburg. 

After assisting his father on the farm, young Balch was 
at length sent to Princeton college, where he graduated in 



408 HISTORY OF 

1 766 in the same class with Waightstill Avery, Chief Jus- 
tice Ellsworth, and the celebrated Luther Martin. He was 
licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Donnegal in 1767, 
and in 1769 he was ordained and sent as a missionary to 
Rocky River and Poplar Tent churches, within the limits of 
Mecklenburg. He had married (a Miss Sconnel, it is be- 
lieved) shortly before removing to the county, and settled 
six miles west of the present town of Concord, on the Beat- 
tie's Ford road. It must be conceded that during his brief 
period of labor, about seven years, he performed a good 
pioneer work for the Church and State — for the cause of 
liberty and the cause of education. A member of the Meck- 
lenburg Convention of May, 1775, he not only voted for 
the noble resolves, but enforced them by his vigorous sense 
and eloquence. He did what he could for his country and 
his kind; but, in the summer of 1776, he was called to his 
reward at the early age of 30 years. He was reputed an 
elegant and accomplished scholar. He is said to have been a 
tall, handsome man, with fair hair, which he wore long and 
curling. Pie had two or more children. His widoAv subse- 
quently married a man by the name of McWhorter, a profes- 
sional teacher, and moved with her and her children to Ten- 
nessee, Mrs. McWhorter taking the children as she passed 
along on her journey to view their father's grave for the last 
time. All trace of these children has been lost. Mr. Balch 
had three brothers and several sisters. Two of the former 
were noted Presbyterian clergyman, Rev. Dr. Steven B. 
Balch, of Georgetown, and Rev. James Balch, of Kentucky; 
the third, William Balch, a planter in Georgia. In 1847 
means were provided and a suitable monument erected over 
his grave, for which Rev. J. A. Wallace prepared an appro- 
priate inscription. 

HEZEKIAH ALEXANDER. 

This member of the numerous Alexander family was a 
brother of John McKnitt Alexander, and was born in Cecil 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 409 

county, in the northern part of Maryland, in January, 1722. 
He migrated with his family to the Mecklenburg country in 
1754, and was soon assigned a prominent place among the 
early settlers. He located four or five miles east of Char- 
lotte and in 1764 erected a stone residence on which the date 
is cut, and is a good house to this day. He was for many 
years a magistrate and member of the County Court. Foote 
relates of him that he was "the clearest-headed magistrate in 
the county," a high compliment. In May, 1775, he served 
in the Mecklenburg Convention, and in the ensuing Septem- 
ber he was chosen a member of the Salisbury District Com- 
mittee of Safety. In April, 1776, he was appointed paymas- 
ter of Col. Thomas Polk's regiment of the Continentals, and 
the next month he was chosen one of the two members to 
represent the Salisbury District in the State Council of 
Safety, on pay of twenty shilling proclamation money for 
each day's traveling and attendance. He died June 16, 1801. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

CAPT. ZACCHEUS WILSON. 

The Wilsons were of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian stock, and 
were among the early settlers of Cumberland county, Penn- 
sylvania, where Zaccheus Wilson was born, probably as early 
as about 1735 or 1740. When he grew to man's state, he 
was not "little of statu!" as Zaccheus of old — for like nearly 
all of that numerous connection, his person was of full 
medium size, rather heavily framed, and possessing great 
power in the vigor of life. He received but a limited educa- 
tion, and while yet quite young, settled with his parents in 
the Poplar Tent region, originally a part of Mecklenburg, 
now Cabarrus county. This was prior to March, 1753. He 
had a younger sister who married Capt. Stephen Alexander, 
who survived till the age of 90 — the chronicler of her region. 

Zaccheus Wilson had three brothers, two of whom were 



4IO HISTORY OF 

Robert and David, and three sisters. Reared on the frontier, 
Zaccheus and his brothers were not the men to have shirked 
any duty in aiding- in the defence of the country. On the Yad- 
kin river, in Rowan county, one Nicholas Ross early set- 
tled, marrying Lizzie Conger, daughter of John Conger. 
There were then many wild horses running in the woods. 
Having a fine animal of his own, and needing another, Ross 
went in the spring of the year to the range and selected one 
that he thought would suit his purpose, and started to run 
him down and halter him. But in the race, the horse 
plunged in a hole, turned a complete summersault ; fell back 
on and crushed his pursuer, who left a widow and two little 
daughters. (MS. Letter of Rev. Nicholson Ross Morgan, 
a son of the younger of Mr. Ross' daughters. The elder 
married Matthew Harris, a nephew of Col. Robert and 
Samuel Harris, of Rocky River.) 

Zaccheus Wilson, in his occupation of a surveyor, was 
sent for to survey and divide the land for the heirs; saw, 
admired, and married the young widow, and took her to his 
home in the Steele Creek region. 

About 1767, we find him one of the elders of Steele Creek 
Church. He had a decided love for mathematical studies, 
which he pursued with little or no instruction, and became 
one of the best surveyors of his day. 

He was a member of the Mecklenburg Convention in May. 
1775, and of the Provincial Congress of November, 1776, 
for making laws and forming a Constitution. The only 
military service particularly remembered, though much in 
the army, was as a Captain at King's Mountain, where 
among plunder taken, was an English surveyor's compass 
and platting instruments, which were assigned to him in the 
division, and are yet preserved by one of his descendants. 
He was a member of the North Carolina Convention of 1788 
for the consideration of the Federal Constitution, and he 
was among the large majority that refused to give it their 
approval, as wanting in a proper protection of the rights of 
the people. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 41 1 

When the county of Cabarrus was set off from Mecklen- 
burg, in 1792, Capt. Wilson was a resident of that region, 
and was chosen county surveyor. 

In 1796, Capt. Wilson, having lost his wife, resolved on 
following his brother, Maj. David Wilson, who had nine 
years before moved to Sumner county, Tennessee; and just 
prior to his departure he visited his step-daughter, the 
mother of the venerable Rev. N. H. Morgan. "The last 
night he spent with us,'' says Mr. Morgan, "I slept with 
him, and about midnight the wolves raised a furious howling 
around the cow pen, The old gentleman went out and 
chased them away, and I as a mere lad, remember how I 
trembled lest he should be devoured." In this migration, be- 
side his two sons, a goodly number of Wilsons and some Al- 
exanders accompanied him. His removal was much regret- 
ted by his old friends and neighbors. His education, mostly 
self-acquired, was quite liberal. He was very popular, a 
Presbyterian spotless in life, a noble, worthy man, without 
an equal in his profession as a surveyor. He settled one 
mile northeast of Gallatin, in Sumner county, twenty-six 
miles above Nashville, where he followed his profession as 
long as he was able to do so. He died in 1824. 

NEIL MORRISON. 

James Morrison, a native of Scotland, early migrated to 
this county ; settled in Philadelphia, where his son, Neil Mor- 
rison, was born in 1728. On reaching years of manhood, he 
engaged in mercantile business in that city, and then mar- 
ried. 

A few years before the Revolution, the father and his 
three sons moved to Mecklenburg and located on Four Mile 
creek, in Providence settlement, Neil Morrison at this time 
having a family. James Morrison lived to be an old man, 
81 years, and was interred in Providence burial ground. 
Neil Morrison's abilities soon commanded respect, and he 
was chosen one of the members of the Mecklenburg Con- 



412 HISTORY OF 

vent ion in May, 1775. He engaged heartily in the military 
service, commanding a company on Rutherford's campaign 
in 1776, against the Cherokee Indians, burning their towns, 
cutting down their corn and throwing it into the streams. 

His other services are not known. He was a Justice of 
the Peace and a member of the County Court. He died 
September 13, 1784, at the age of 56 years, and was buried 
in Providence graveyard. His widow survived him until 
her 89th year. His son, William Morrison, was early sent 
to Princeton college, but the war early in 1776 interrupted 
his studies; so he bought himself a rifle and returned home; 
entered the service, serving a while on Sullivan's Island. 
At Gates' defeat in August, 1780, he was wounded by a 
musket ball, taken prisoner and confined in jail in Camden, 
whence his mother and sister succeeded in getting him par- 
doned; then conveying him to Charlotte, where Dr. Hen- 
derson extracted the ball and he recovered. He subsequently 
became a prominent physician, and died in 1806, together 
with his brothers, Alexander and James, all within a period 
of three months. Dr. William Morrison was a member of 
the Legislature in 179(3 — elected as a Federalist — and his 
brother, Alexander, in 1801 to 1803, as a Republican. Their 
sister became the wife of Maj. Thomas Alexander, who 
served under Davie and Sumter in the Revolution. 

RICHARD BARRY. 

Of Scotch-Irish descent, Richard Barry was born in Penn- 
sylvania in 1726. He married Anne Price, of Maryland, 
also of Scotch-Irish descent, and settled many years before 
the Revolution in the Mecklenburg district, twelve miles 
northeast of Charlotte, at what is still known as the old 
Barry tanyard. 

Though best known as a member of the Mecklenburg 
Convention of May, 1775, he performed many other services 
of a useful character, having served many years as a magis- 
trate and a member of the County Court, and though ad- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 413 

vanced in life, he set the good example of taking his place 
among the Mecklenburg troops, when their services were 
called into requisition. At the age of 55, he fought as 
valiantly as the younger soldiers in disputing the passage of 
Cornwallis' army at Cowan's Ford, in February, 1781, 
when the lamented Davidson was slain, and aided in bury- 
ing his body by torchlight in the graveyard at Hopewell. 
Mr. Barry was long a ruling elder in Hopewell Church. The 
first sermon by a Presbyterian clergyman in that section of 
the county was preached under the sade of a tree at the side 
oif his house. His death occurred August 21, 1801, in the 
75th year of his age. 

JOHN FLENNIKIN. 

James and John Flennikin, descendants from Scotch- 
Irish ancestors, were among the early settlers of that race in 
Pennsylvania. They had nine children, of whom John 
Flennikin, the subject of this sketch, was the seventh, born 
in Pennsylvania March 7, 1744. The family early migrated 
to Mecklenburg, and settled on the waters of McAlpin's 
creek, in what is now Sharon Township. John Flennikin 
seems to have had a fair education, but beyond his service as 
a member of the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775, 
and many years as a magistrate and member of the County 
Court, we have no record. His life was one mainly of peace- 
ful pursuits. He lived to a good old age, when he was 
thrown from his horse on his way to church and killed, and 
his remains mingle with the dust of Providence burial 
ground. His brother, David Flennikin, served under Col. 
Irwin and Gen. Sumter at the battle of Hanging Rock, 
where he was wounded and carried to the hospital at Char- 
lotte. He long enjoyed a pension for the wounds he received 
in the service, and died April 26th, 1826, in the 78th year of 
his age, and was buried in Providence graveyard. Beth of 
the brothers left numerous and worthy descendants. 



414 HISTORY OF 

WILLIAM GRAHAM. 

But little can be gathered of this delegate to the Mecklen- 
burg Convention of May, 1775. His was a farmer's life, 
quietly spent in his calling, and he left behind him few evi- 
dences of his public career. He was an Irishman and early 
settled in Mecklenburg county. He was useful in his day, 
serving, it is believed, in the army. He died at an advanced 
age in 1820 or 1822, near Davidson College. 

MATTHEW M'CLURE. 

In the north of Ireland and about 1725, was Matthew 
McClure born, where he married ; then came to America and 
settled in Mecklenburg about 1751, five miles south of Da- 
vidson College. It is an evidence of his worth that he was 
chosen one of the delegates to the Mecklenbubrg Conven- 
tion of May, 1775. It is not known that he filled any other 
public position. His home was a rendezvous for the patriots 
of his section. In January, 1782, the County Court ordered 
that no person in Charlotte, or within two miles of the- place, 
should be permitted to sell any spirituous liquors, so long 
as the hospital was continued in that town, and employed 
Matthew McClure to take possession of all such contraband 
liquors for the use of the hospital, or as the commanding 
officer should direct. Too old himself to enter active service 
in the field, his sons were much engaged in the army. 

JOHN QUEARY. 

A native of Scotland, John Queary first migrated to 
Pennsylvania, and then to Mecklenburg some years before 
the Revolution. As early as January, 1770, we find Mr. 
Queary residing in what was called for a time Clear Creek, 
now Philadelphia, in the bounds of Rocky River, and was 
an elder in that church. 

Of his Revolutionary service, save that he was a mem- 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 415 

ber of the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775, noth- 
ing is known. He is represented as a man of strong and 
vigorous intellect, and a good scholar, especially in mathe- 
matics ; accumulating means to a moderate extent, and died 
at an early period. He is buried in what was once Meck- 
lenburg-, now Union county. 

EZRA ALEXANDER. 

All that can be stated of Mr. Alexander in addition to his 
having been a delegate to the Mecklenburg Convention of 
May, 1775, is that he headed a company in June and July, 
1780, in Col. W. L. Davidson's command, during the Tory 
rising at Ramsour's Mill, and in the affair near Calson's 
Mill with a body of Tories while in pursuit of Bryan's party, 
and the next month served in Capt. John Brownfield's com- 
pany of Regiment at the battle of Hanging 

Rock. (MS. Letters of Dr. C, L. Hunter, September 
21, 1775.) He died in the summer of 1800, at an advanced 



age. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

WAIGHTSTTLL AVERY. 

The Avery family trace a Hungarian origin. Capt. James 
Avery, of Devonshire, England, came over with Winthrop's 
company in 1630, only ten years after the May Flower, first 
settling at Gloucester; then in 1651 at New London, Conn., 
and shortly after at Groton. From him 1 descended Waight- 
still Avery, the subject of this sketch, who was born in Gro- 
ton May 3, 1743. He graduated at Princeton College in 
1766, where he remained a tutor for a year. Then removing 
to Maryland, he studied law for about a year and a half 
under the direction of Littleton Dennis, where early in 1769 
he set out for North Carolina. 

Selecting Mecklenburg for his home, he domiciled with 



41 6 HISTORY OF 

Hezekiah Alexander at the moderate rate of £12 (twelve 
pounds) per eight months. 

In 1771 he was made prisoner by the Regulators at Yad- 
kin Ferry, and carried to their camp in the woods. They 
gave him a flogging and soon set him at liberty. When the 
great war came he was prepared to meet it. In such an at- 
mosphere as Mecklenburg, he could only learn to breathe 
the purest sentiments of patriotism. In the Mecklenburg 
Convention in May, 1775, he filled an honored place. He 
was most probably associated with Brevard and Kennon on 
the committee who reported the memorable Resolves of 
May 20th, and could scarcely have kept silent in enforcing 
their adoption by his talents and persuasive powers of elo- 
quence. He was a "shrewd lawyer," said Prof. F. M. Hub- 
bard, "whose integrity, no less than his deliberate wisdom, 
made his counsels weighty." 

Jones, in his "Revolutionary Defence of North Carolina," 
states that Brevard and Avery, with their classical attain- 
ments, with the native talent and enthusiasm of Thomas 
Polk, produced the Mecklenburg Declaration. He was re- 
turned one of the Mecklenburg representatives to the North 
Carolina Provincial Congress of August and September, 
J 775, when he was chosen one of the two members for the 
Salisbury District of Provincial Council of Safety. The 
Council held two sessions that year, one in October and one 
in December. 

He was dispatched, in behalf of the Council, to purchase 
from the South Carolina Committee of Safety 2,000 pounds 
of powder for the use of the Province, and was also ap- 
pointed one of the committee for the District of Salisbury 
to purchase materials and to employ proper persons to make 
and repair guns and bayonets, and purchase guns, lead and 
flints. In April, 1776, he was appointed chairman of four 
commissioners by the Provincial Congress to erect salt 
works and manufacture salt for the use of the public, which 
proved successful and of great importance. 

He was in this year, 1777, appointed one of the trustees of 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 417 

Liberty Hall Academy at Charlotte, and was also chosen one 
of the two members to represent Mecklenbubrg in the House 
of Commons, and served on the committee to revise the 
whole body of the public laws of the State. On the 12th of 
January, 1778, he was commissioned Attorney General of 
the State. 

To the last his was the costume of the Revolution — short 
breeches, long waistcoats, silk stockings and knee buckles — 
wearing his hair in a cue, and presenting altogether a singu- 
lar appearance to the younger generation. Absent-minded- 
ness was one of his peculiarities, of which his more intimate 
friends would take occasion to play off practical jokes at his 
expense. He was devoted to his friends and strong in his 
prejudices. He was very fond of his books and newspapers. 
He died in March, 1821. 

COE. WM. KENNON. 

The Kennons migrated from England and settled in Vir- 
ginia about as early as 1660. Richard Kennon, with three 
associates, obtained a grant from the Colony of 2,827 acres 
in Henrico county, April 1, 1670, and Elizabeth Kennon, 
perhaps the widow of Richard, April 24, 1703, secured a 
grant of 4,000 acres in Henrico. Robert, William and 
Richard Kennon, Jr., were the sons of this early couple. 
William Kennon, recorded as "Gentleman," between April 
17, 1725, and November, 1750, obtained five grants of land 
in Henrico, aggregating 4,063, and one tract of 4,000 acres 
in Prince George county. (MS. Letters of R. A. Brock, 
Corresponding Secretary Virginia Historical Society, Sept. 
13, 1875.) 

He was probably there on professional business, and was 
invited as a matter of courtesy to a seat in the Convention 
in Charlotte May 20, 1775. 



41 8 HISTORY OF 

COL. JAMES HARRIS. 

According- to the late Hon. W. S. Harris, an intelligent 
chronicler of the family, the Harris connection of Mecklen- 
burg and Cabarrus were of Scotch-Irish stock, natives 
of Harrisburg, Penn., who emigrated first to Cecil county, 
Maryland, and in 1740 to North Carolina. The facts are 
that James Harris, a native of Yorkshire, England, first set- 
tled on the Susquehanna in 1719. But Harrisburg 
was not laid out as a town till sixty-five years after. A 
grandson of the first settler bore the name of Robert, a 
family name among the North Carolina Harrises. An imme- 
diate descendant of Col. James Harris states that he was a 
native of Wales, born April 3, 1739, but the probabilities are 
that he was of Welsh descent, and a native of Pennsylvania. 
He early settled on Clear Creek, in Mecklenburg county. 
He proved himself a leader among 1 the people, and was 
chosen a delegate to the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 
1775. In June, 1780, we find him serving as Major of Col. 
Irwin's regiment, and marched against the Tories at Ram- 
sour's, who were defeated a little before the arrival of the 
rear under Gen. Rutherford and Col. Irwin. He was sub- 
sequently promoted to be Colonel. 

In 1785, he was chosen to represent Mecklenburg in the 
State Senate, a high honor in a region where there were so 
many able and worthy men. His death occurred September 
27, 1797, in the 59th year of his age. He is represented as 
a very rich man, quiet in his demeanor, provident and suc- 
cessful, and a member of the Presbyterian denomination. 
Some of his descendants reside in Texas. His younger 
brother, Samuel Harris, a soldier of the Revolution, lived 
till he was 80 years old. Another brother, Robert Harris, 
will receive a special notice. 

DAVID REESE. 

David Reese, a native of Wales, was among the Protest- 
ant emigrants who were induced to settle in Ireland. He 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 419 

was a Presbyterian preacher, and took part in the terrible 
siege of Londonderry, which lasted eight months on scanty 
allowance. He subsequently returned to Wales, where his 
son, David Reese, w^as born in 1710, and came to America 
when a lad about 15 years old. He settled in Pennsylvania, 
where in due time he married Susan Polk, a near relative of 
Thomas and Ezekiel Polk, where their son, Thomas, was 
born in 1742, who subsequently became a distinguished 
clergyman in the Presbyterian Church. About 1750, David 
Reese emigrated, with his young family, and located in Pop- 
lar Tent settlement of the Catawba country. 

Well educated for his day, he became a prominent man 
among the early settlers, and was chosen one of a bench 
of Poplar Tent Church elders in 1751. Waightstill Avery, 
in Diary of September, 1767, records: "Went to David 
Reese's, plotted a piece of land for him," and "wrote a deed 
for him to his son," which would indicate wealth in the rich 
land of the country. He is one of the reputed delegates to 
the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775; was long a 
magistrate and member of the County Court. 

Though too old to take the field, he was appointed by the 
Provincial Congress of April, 1776, with Thomas, to pn> 
cure, purchase and receive fire arms for the use of the troops 
of Mecklenburg. He lived to see his country free and happy. 
His will bears date of February 5, 1787, and was admitted 
to probate in September following. He must have died not 
long before the latter date, at the age of about 'jj years. 
His remains lie buried in Poplar Tent burial ground, in an 
unknown grave. 

"He was a born statesman," writes Hon. W. S. Harris, 
and "one of the best of men." He was commanding in ap- 
pearance, fine looking, with bright, black eyes. 

HENRY DOWNS. 

Of Scotch-Irish descent, Henry Downs was born in 1728, 
probably in Pennsylvania, and early settled in Providence 



420 HISTORY OF 

settlement, which subsequently became a part of Mecklen- 
burg. 

Of his public career, we only know that he was one of the 
reputed delegates to the famous Mecklenburg Convention. 
He lived to see his country free, and to enjoy the blessings 
of a well-spent life. He died October 8, 1798, at the age of 
70 years, and was buried in Providence burial ground, 12 
miles south of Charlotte. One correspondent speaks of 
"Henry Downs of precious memory," indicative of his 
worthy character, and the good name he left behind him. 
His sons, Thomas and Samuel Downs, were well known in 
their day, and their descendants are quite numerous in the 
Mecklenburg region. 

JOHN FOARD. 

There was a John Foard in Somerset county, on the east- 
ern shore of Maryland, a Presbyterian elder, as early as 
1710, mentioned in the first stories of Foote's Sketches of 
Virginia. As that region furnished many of the early set- 
tlers of Mecklenburg, it is most probable that the John Foard 
of Mecklenburg was descended from that Maryland Presby- 
terian family of the same name. 

As early as January 27, 1770, he is found among the 
members of Clear Creek congregation. He is said to have 
been one of the delegates to the Mecklenburg Convention of 
May, 1775, and long served as a magistrate and member of 
the County Court. He served as a private in Col. Charles 
Polk's Dragoons in the fall of 1781, on the Raft Swamp ex- 
pedition. His will bears date of April 25, 1798, and he prob- 
ably died not long after this period. Mr. Harris represents 
him as a worthy and good man, possessing great courage. 
He lived and died in that part of Mecklenburg which now 
forms Union county. There are none of his lineal descend- 
ants remaining in the old Mecklenburg region, but a good 
many kindred bear his name. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 421 

CHARLES ALEXANDER. 

Of this member of the numerous Alexander family, little 
is known save that he was one of the reputed delegates to the 
Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775. He lived on the 
line from Waxhaw to Charlotte. He was a gallant and true 
patriot, and unlike most of his Alexander kindred, he was 
an unbeliever in the Christian religion. His death took 
place in 1801. He had a grand-son recently deceased, who 
was an officer and soldier in the war with Mexico. 

ROBERT HARRIS, SR. 

In the notice of Col. James Harris, a brother of the sub- 
ject of this sketch, it was stated that he was descended from 
Welsh ancestry, and was probably a native of Pennsylvania. 

Robert Harris, born about 1741, is also supposed to have 
been born in that State, and certain it is that the family 
connection included probably the parents and their sons. 
James, Robert, Samuel, Charles and Thomas, and an only 
sister, who became the wife of Rev. Thomas Reese, early 
migrated to the Catawba Valley. Hon. W. S. Harris, who 
descended from Charles, fixed the period of their migration 
in 1740; but it was probably a few years later, else some of 
the brothers and the sister must have been born in Mecklen- 
burg county. The venerable Rev. N. R. Morgan and lady, 
the latter a grand-daughter of Robert Harris, thinks he came 
to North Carolina with the early crowd of emigrants from 
Pennsylvania or Maryland. 

As early as May, 1771, he was chosen an elder of Pop- 
lar Tent Church. (The Robert Harris of this sketch should 
not be confounded with the Col. Robert Harris, of Reed 
Creek, referred to in Foote's Sketches of North Carolina, 
page 480.) Rev. Humphrey Hunter included the name of 
Richard Harris, Sr., among the list of delegates to the 
Mecklenburg Convention, which the Legislative Committee 
in the State pamphlet of 183 1 adopted in the second or- 
ganized list of bona fide members. 



422 HISTORY OF 

Lossing, in his "Field Books of the Revolution,"' corrects 
the apparent error of Richard Harris and substitutes the 
name of Robert Harris. "It is surprising," writes W. S. 
Harris, who lived all his life in that region, and one of the 
best chroniclers in that section of country, "that such an 
error should have been committed, and the name given as 
Richard ; it is a mistake. I know that the name should have 
been Robert Harris." 

It is due to truth to sav that Rev. N. R. Morgan and 
lady, the latter his grand-daughter, who remembered him 
personally, state that they never understood that that Robert 
Harris was one of the famous Mecklenburg delegates. 

In view of his services and sufferings, a grant of 5,000 
acres of land was donated to him in Tennessee, which was 
neglected for many years, but finally secured by his descend- 
ants, proving of great value to them. He became the pos- 
sessor of a large body of land around what is now known as 
Harris' station, on the North Carolina Railroad, in Cabar- 
rus county. The mill he built on Rocky river, the dam of 
which is solid rock, still stands and continues to be known 
as Harris' Mill. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

MAJ. JOHN DAVIDSON. 

Robert Davidson and wife, Mary Ramsay, of Dundee, 
Scotland, became early settlers of Chestnut Level, Lan- 
caster county, Pennsylvania, where their son, John Da- 
vidson, was born December 15, 1735. With respec- 
table education, and reared to the occupation of a farmer, 
and while yet a young man, about 1760, he migrated to the 
Catawba country, in North Carolina. 

Here he was united in marriage with Violet, daughter of 
Samuel Wilson, and sister to the wife cf Ezekiel Polk, and 
settled on the Catawba near Tool's Ford. Such was his 
prominence that he was chosen, in conjunction with Capt. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 423 

Thomas Polk, to represent Mecklenburg county in the Colo- 
nial Legislature in 1773. When such a man as John David- 
son states positively that he was one of the members of the 
famous Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775, chosen in 
his captain's company with John McKnitt Alexander as his 
coadjutor, no one has ever called this claim into question. 
It should stand as one of the fixed facts of history. How 
Dr. M. Winslow Alexander, in making up his list of dele- 
gates in 1824, should have omitted him, then being a venera- 
ble survivor of the Revolution and sustaining the highest 
character with Gen. Joseph Graham among his honored 
sons-in-law, and how the Legislative Committee of 1831 
should have ignored his claim to that undoubted honor and 
placed other names of doubtful import in their recognized 
list of delegates, is not the least of many strange things con- 
nected villi this Mecklenburg matter. An intelligent gen- 
tleman states that his grand-father, Maj. Davidson, rode 
home the night after the declaration was made, fourteen 
miles, taking by-paths for fear of being killed by the enemy, 
when in truth there were no British soldiers within hun- 
dreds of miles of Mecklenburg in May, 1775; no Tories, of 
whom there were few in that region at any time, had shown 
themselves in hostile array. The Indians were still peaceful 
on the frontiers and remained so for more than a year later, 
and no Redcoats trod the soil of Mecklenburg till after 
Cornwallis' forced himself there in September, 1780. 

Tn vSeptember, 1775, he was appointed second Major of 
Col. Polk's regiment, and doubtless went with the regiment 
on the Snow Campaign at the close of the year against the 
Tory insurgents in the region of Ninety-Six, South Caro- 
lina. He was promoted to first Major of Mecklenburg mili- 
tia under Col. Adam Alexander and Lieut. Phifer in April, 
1776, and in the spring of that year, then in the summer and 
fall of the same year, he went on Rutherford's campaign 
against the Cherokees. No particulars are mentioned of his 
other services. The remainder of his long life he continued 
to reside at his old homestead on the Catawba until the death 



4^4 HISTORY OF 

of his wife and marriage of his children, when, in 1824, he 
went to reside with his daughter, Mrs. W. Lee Davidson, 
near Davidson College, where he closed his long and useful 
life January 10, 1832, in the 97th year of his age, and was 
buried in the family burying ground at his former home, a 
spot selected by himself, near Tool's Ford, on the Catawba. 

COL. EZEKlElv polk. 

Capt. Jack included in his list of those "who appeared to 
take the lead" in the Mecklenburg movement of May, 1775, 
Col. Ezekiel Polk, Samuel Martin, William Wilson and Dun- 
can Ochiltree ; and Lossing has given the names of the three 
latter in his enumeration of the delegates. They were all 
doubtless prominent actors among the people on the interest- 
ing occasion. Of William Polk's eight children, a sketch of 
Col. Thomas Polk, the eldest, has already been given. Eze- 
kiel was the youngest, born in Pennsylvania December 7, 
1747. "Pennsylvania born, and Carolina bred," as he him- 
self composed in evidence for his tombstone, would imply 
that when quite young he followed the fortunes of his broth- 
ers to Carolina, and was mostly raised, or bred, as he pre- 
ferred to term it. Of his youthful days, nothing is remem- 
bered. 

Pie early married Mary Wilson, a sister to the wife of 
Maj. John Davidson. In 1769 he was clerk of the Court of 
Tryon county — territory from which Lincoln and Ruther- 
ford have since been formed. 

In 1778, Col. Polk removed into Mecklenburg county, 
just south of Sugar Creek Church, and eleven miles south of 
Charlotte, where his son, *James K. Polk, was born. This 
was a period of quiet in this region, and remained so until 
Cornwallis' invasion in September, 1780. There was no reg- 
ular army then, after Gates' defeat, to protect the county. 
When Cornwallis reached Col. Polk's, on Sugar Creek, in 
order to save the burning of his home, the destruction of his 
property, and the suffering of his family, he was forced to 

*James K. Polk was the son of Samuel Polk, and grandson of 
Ezekiel Polk. — Editor. 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 425 

take British protection, which merely was understood to pn> 
tect himself, family and property from molestation, without 
implying any pledge for sympathy or service. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

CAPT. JAMES JACK. 

The bearer of the Mecklenburg Resolves of May, 1775, to 
Philadelphia — Capt. James Jack — was of Irish descent, born 
in Pennsylvania in 1739, whence he removed to North Car- 
olina, and settled in Charlotte eight or ten years before the 
commencement of the Revolutionary war. He married Mar- 
garet Houston, and was long a popular hotel keeper in 
Charlotte. He took a decided and active part in the Revolu- 
tionary war. He probably served under Col. Thomas Polk 
on the Snow Campaign in 1775. His large acquaintance 
with the people enabled him to raise a company of men, 
whom he led forth on Rutherford's Cherokee campaign in 
1776. He was with the troops embodied who opposed Corn- 
wallis when he entered Charlotte in September, 1781. Capt. 
Jack also led his company in Gen. Polk's brigade in April, 
1 78 1, joining Gen. Greene at Rugeby's Mills, and serving a 
three months' tour -of duty. The particulars of other ser- 
vices of Capt. Jack are not preserved. It is only known that 
he was ever ready for service, and was so popular with his 
company that they induced him not to seek or accept the pro- 
motions, which indeed he did not desire. In a certificate 
extracted by Col. Abraham and Hezekiah Alexander De- 
cember 24, 1 78 1, it is stated that Capt. Jack had resided 
several years in Mecklenburg county, was a good and 
worthy member of society, both civil and religious, and 
since the beginning of the war, had always conducted him- 
self as a patriot and as an officer in such a manner as to 
evince his honest zeal and attachment to the cause of his 
country. The close of the war left him poor. He had freely 



4 2 6 HISTORY OF 

advanced all he possessed in the great struggle, a portion of 
it as a loan to North Carolina. His unrequited claims at the 
time of his death upon North Carolina amounted to £7,446 
vState currency. In 1783, Capt. Jack removed to Georgia, 
settling in Wilkes county. 

REV. FRANCIS CUMMINGS, D. D. 

A child of Irish parentage, Mr. Cummings was born near 
Shippenburg, Penn., in the spring of 1752. In his 19th year 
his parents moved to Mecklenburg county, and young 
Cummings exchanged his former life for the classic halls 
of the Queen's Museum in Charlotte, where he was an eye 
witness of the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775, con- 
cerning which he furnished a certificate, and also gave some 
account in a published sermon. He graduated at Queen's 
Museum about 1776, and spent several years teaching. 
Among his pupils in Bethel, York county, South Carolina, 
was Andrew Jackson, afterwards President, and William 
Smith, a United States Senator from South Carolina. 

When licensed to preach he occupied various pulpits at 
Hopewell, Bethel and other places. In 1788, while residing 
at Bethel, he was chosen by the people of York county a 
member of the South Carolina Convention for deciding upon 
the Constitution of the United States. Mr. Cummings was 
at various periods the pastor of some twenty congregations, 
some in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, divid- 
ing his time between teaching and preaching. 

His last sermon was preached January 15, 1832, and 
three days later he was seized with influenza, which termi- 
nated his life at Greensboro, Ga., on the 2d of the ensuing 
February, in the 80th year of his age. He left behind him a 
good name and many descendants. 

GEN. JOSEPH GRAHAM. 

A native of Pennsylvania, Joseph Graham was born Octo- 
ber 13, 1759. His widowed mother in 1776 removed with 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 427 

her five children to North Carolina, settling in the vicinity of 
Charlotte, where Joseph received the most of his education. 
He was present during the meeting of the famous Mecklen- 
burg Convention, and his reminiscences concerning it are not 
only the most detailed of any preserved, but the most impor- 
tant in citing facts connected with the Resolves which, when 
those of May 20th were subsequently discovered, go to sub- 
stantiate that they were the real and only Resolves adopted 
by the people of Mecklenburg in May, 1775. 

In May, 1778, when 19 years old, he enlisted in the Fourth 
Regiment of the North Carolina line, and marched into Cas- 
well county, and was subsequently furloughed home; but in 
August, was ordered to South Carolina, and then to 
Georgia; was in the battle of Stono, June 20, 1779, and 
soon after discharged. The next year he was appointed Ad- 
jutant of the Mecklenburg regiment, and when the British 
army, under Lord Cornwallis, invaded the country in Sep- 
tember, 1780, he was ordered by Gen. Davidson to> take com- 
mand of such of the inhabitants as should collect in Char- 
lotte on the news of the enemy's approach, who amounted to 
fifty in number. When the British entered Charlotte Sep 1 - 
tember 26th, Maj. Davis and Capt. Graham made a daring 
resistance, brief, but unavailing. They were compelled to 
retreat, but resisted as they retired. In one of the enemy's 
charges, Graham received nine wounds, six from the sabre 
and three from bullets. His stock buckles probably pre- 
vented one of the cuts upon his neck from fatally wounding 
him. As it was, he ever afterward bore marks of the sever- 
ity of the blow aimed at his life. Four deep sabre gashes 
scarred his head and one his side. He was left for dead 
when the enemy departed, and with difficulty crawled to 
some water near by, where, slaking his intolerable thirst, 
he washed his numerous painful wounds as well as he could. 

For a time he expected to die unnoticed in this secluded 
spot, but by night was discovered by kind-hearted people who 
were in search of their wounded countrymen, and conveyed 
to a neighboring house of a widow lady. Here he was con- 



4 2 8 HISTORY OF 

cealecl in an upper room and was attended by the widow and 
her daughter during- the night, expecting he might soon die. 
Once he slept and breathed so quietly, and was so pale, they 
thought he was dead. The next day a British officer's wife, 
with a company of horsemen, visited the widow's house in 
quest of fresh provisions. By some means she discovered 
that there was a wounded person in the loft, and pressing 
the inquiry, learned he was an officer and his wounds severe, 
and kindly offered to send a British surgeon to dress his 
wounds as soon as she should reach the camp at Charlotte. 
Alarmed at his discovery and dreading to fall into the hands 
of the enemy, he rallied all his powers and caused himself to 
be placed on horseback the ensuing night and taken to his 
mother's, and not long after to the hospital. Three balls 
were taken from his body. 

GENT. GEORGE GRAHAM. 

Nearly two years the senior of his brother. Joseph, whose 
career has just been sketched, George Graham was also a na- 
tive of Pennsylvania, born in 1758, and when some nine 
years of age was brought to Mecklenburg county by his 
widowed mother, and educated at the Queen's Museum 
Academy at Charlotte, and became strongly imbued with 
the republican principles of the Scotch-Irish of that region. 
He was one of the party of young patriots who rode from 
Charlotte to Salisbury early in June, 1775, and arrested 
Dunn and Boothe, a couple of prominent Tory lawyers who 
proposed to detain Capt. Jack when on his way to Philadel- 
phia with the Resolves of the Mecklenburg Convention. He 
was active in harrassing and thwarting the foraging parties 
of the enemy when Cornwallis lay at Charlotte, and one of 
the gallant fourteen who dared to attack, October 3. 1780, 
and actually drove a British foraging party of 450 infantry, 
60 cavalry and about 40 wagons, under Maj. Doyle, at Mc- 
Intire's, seven miles north of Charlotte. 

Capt. James Thompson commanded this daring party of 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 429 

Mecklenburgers. Two hundred yards from Mclntire's was 
a thicket down a spring branch, to which Thompson and 
his party repaired. A point of rocky ridge, covered with 
bushes, passed obliquely from the road towards the spring, 
and within fifty steps of the house, which sheltered them 
from view. From under this cover Thompson and party de- 
ployed into line ten or twelve feet apart, and advanced 
silently to their intended position. The British were much 
out of order; some in the barn throwing down oats for the 
horses, others racing after the pigs, ducks and chickens; a 
squad was robbing the bee hive, while others were pillaging 
the dwelling. A sentinel placed on watch, within a few 
steps of where the Americans were advancing, appeared to 
be alarmed, though he had not seen them. Capt. Thompson 
fired the first shot and brought down the sentinel. This 
being the signal for the attack, each man, as he could get a 
view, took ready and deliberate aim before he fired at the 
distance of 60 to 70 steps. In two instances where two hap- 
pened to aim at the same pillager, when the first fired and 
the fellow fell, the second had to change his aim and search 
for another object. 

The enemy immediately began to form and fire briskly. 
None of the Americans had time to load and fire the second 
time, except Capt. Thompson and Bradley, who were the 
first to discharge their rifles. The last shot of Thompson's 
was aimed at the Captain of the party at the barn, 150 steps 
distant, who died of the wound he received two days after- 
wards, at the house of Samuel McCombs, in Charlotte. 
Thompson's party retreated through the thicket, which was 
nearly parallel to the great road, and only about one-half 
mile from it. The enemy continued to fire briskly and ceased 
about the time the Americans were half a mile away. 

The main body of the British under Maj. Doyle, who 
were in the rear, hearing the firing at Mclntire's, became 
alarmed and hurried to the support of their friends. Capt. 
Thompson's party now loaded their rifles, ascended the 
creek bottom, deployed, as before, under cover of a high 



430 HISTORY OF 

bank parallel with the road, and about 40 rods from it. 
They had not been long at this station before the enemy's 
advance, and some wagons, came on. They severally fired, 
taking deliberate aim, and then retreated down the creek. 
When the front of the enemy's column arrived near the 
creek's ford, they formed and commenced a tremendous fire 
through the low ground, which continued till Thompson's 
army had retreated near a half mile. The cavalry at the 
same time divided, one-half passing down each side of the 
creek. Simultaneous with this movement, six or seven 
hounds came in full cry on the track of the retreating Amer- 
icans, and in about three-quarters of a mile came up with 
them. One of the dogs was shot, and the others seemed to 
comprehend the situation and made no further noise. The 
country being thickly covered with undergrowth, Thompson's 
men escaped unhurt. The British cavalry kept on their flank 
on the high ground until they reached the plantation of 
Robert Carr, Sr., where they appeared much enraged, and 
carried the old gentleman, though 70 years old, a prisoner 
to Charlotte. Maj. Doyle's party moved on from the ford 
of the creek and formed a junction with those at Mclntire's 
farm ; gathered up eight dead and twelve wounded, put them 
in their wagons and retreated to Charlotte in great haste. 
On their arrival they reported that they had found a rebel in 
every bush after passing seven miles in that direction. The 
names of those fourteen deserve to be perpetuated in Meck- 
lenburg history, namely : Capt. James Thompson, George 
Graham, Frank Bradley (killed a few days after by four of 
Bryan's Tories), James Henry, Thomas and John Dickson, 
John Long, Robert and John Robinson, George and Hugh 
Theston, Thomas McClure and Edward and George Ship- 
ley. It is believed that during the whole war the enemy did 
not sustain so great a loss nor meet with so complete a disap- 
pointment in his objects by such a mere handful of men. 
That out of 30 shots fired, 20 should have done execution, is 
quite a new experience in the history of war, and several of / 
Thompson's men thought that every shot would have told, * 



MECKLENBURG COUNTY. 43 1 

so deliberate was their aim, had each singled out a different 
object; but in two or more instances, aiming at the same 
person. (Gen. Joseph Graham's narrative, in North Can> 
lina University Magazine, March, 1836). 



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